This month(31 Oct 2018) marks 10 years since the bitcoin.org domain was registered. Bitcoin.org was originally registered and owned by Bitcoin’s first two developers, Satoshi Nakamoto and Martti Malmi. When Satoshi left the project, he gave ownership of the domain to additional people, separate from the Bitcoin developers, to spread responsibility and prevent any one person or group from easily gaining control over the Bitcoin project.
Bitcoin.org’s code is open source. Final publication authority is held by the co-owners, but all regular activity is organized through the public pull request process and managed by the site maintainer. To date on GitHub, there have been over 4,400 commits from 245 contributors from all over the world. In addition to this, over 1000 translators have helped to make the site display natively to visitors by default in their own languages — now 27 different languages and growing.
A decade on, this continues to be carried out via a decentralised registry system known as a blockchain.
Such ambition for a cryptocurrency was fuelled by the bankruptcy of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, an event that discredited the traditional system of “a small elite of bankers… (that) establishes monetary rules imposed on everybody”, according to Pierre Noizat, founder of the first French bitcoin exchange in 2011.
Following its creation, bitcoin evolved for several years away from the public eye, grabbing the attention for the most part of geeks and criminals — the latter seeing it as a way to launder money.
About five to ten bitcoin transactions can be processed per second compared with several thousand for Visa cards.
Looking ahead, US market regulators are considering applications for bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds, which if approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission would see the virtual currency become part of a financial system it set out to bypass.
“We must cross some bridges in the short term” to generate the general public’s interest and trust, said Lesoismier, who described himself as both an “idealist” and “realist”.