The concept of Bitcoin started in October 2008, when a person or group of people under the alias ‘Satoshi’ released a paper outlining a peer-to-peer decentralized currency scheme. Satoshi released an open-source software implementation of his paper in January 2009, marking the official start of Bitcoin. Since then, Bitcoin’s price has undergone one of the largest periods of growth as well as one of the largest periods of decline. After starting at a value in 2009 of just a few cents, Bitcoin skyrocketed to $1,242 per Bitcoin in 2013, dropping back down to around $200 in 2014. The graph below shows Bitcoin’s price history annotated with major news drivers.
2014 was probably one of the most interesting years for Bitcoin. It received some of its most negative media coverage, ranging from the full collapse of major exchange Mt. Gox in February to two arrests and trials related to prominent figures on Bitcoin’s infamous Silk Road marketplace. However, it also underwent some major developmental advances, including acceptance by more mainstream merchants such as Overstock.com, Microsoft, and Zynga. In addition, the first Bitcoin ATM opened in February 2014, and by the end of the year there were more than 200 spread across the United States.