Class 1

The History of Digital Currencies

There will be an electronic currency, and it will be universal, and we must accept that fact.

- John McAfee


From nowhere, Bitcoin is now worth billions.

  • Where did it come from?
  • What were it’s motivations? What problems did it solve? What were its innovations?
  • How did this digital currency succeed when all its predecessors failed?


On November 1, 2008, a post appeared on a discussion forum called the Cryptography Mailing List ...

"Abstract. A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without the burdens of going through a financial institution."

... and was signed with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Many other attempts at digital currencies had all failed.

Then, two months later on 3 Jan 2009 Satoshi mined the first 50 bitcoins (known as the Genesis block).


Encoded in that Genesis block are the words:

"Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks"


... that suggests that Satoshi frowned upon the bank bailouts of 2008. He wasn’t just a coder; his motivation was political.

We’ll start our exploration of Bitcoin with a history lesson. We’ll learn about the origins of money, from bartering to digital currencies and CypherPunks. We’ll consider the problems that plagued them in order to appreciate the innovations of Bitcoin and how that helped Bitcoin overcome these problems.

When your registration has been confirmed, you will receive a zip file containing the course outline (AGENDA) with reference links and PDFs organized by class.

Copyright: Cryptocurrencies Developers Class. Do not copy without permission.