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The modern crypto-currency space was born on October 31, 2008, when an unknown entity named Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin Whitepaper. This document outlined an idea for a decentralized digital currency. Before 2008, there were multiple attempts to create a digital currency; however, none gained widespread adoption. The software went live on January 3, 2009. It was on this day that Satoshi mined the first block of Bitcoin, also referred to as the genesis block. Satoshi left behind a coded message in the first block that read “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” While Satoshi invented bitcoin and laid the initial vision, the project has taken on a life of its own since his disappearance from the internet in 2011.
2008-2009: An Industry is Born
2010 - 2013: Bitcoin’s Early Days
During the early days of Bitcoin, the only people using it were software developers and some hobbyists who liked the idea. After all, there were no Bitcoin Exchanges available online yet! The first major exchange that gained users was called Mt. Gox which launched in 2011. Now, internet users could more easily buy and sell bitcoin. Mt. Gox suffered a major hack as well as legal troubles and eventually closed down in 2014. However, the role that Mt. Gox played in bitcoin is an important one because it allowed many more people to buy bitcoin and grow the user base!
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2011: Bitcoin's Dark Past
As a new internet currency, Bitcoin was not well known back then, which made it attractive for bad actors to use. In 2011, an online drugs marketplace was launched called Silk Road. On the platform, which gained over 100,000 users, they used Bitcoin for sales. Eventually, authorities shut down Silk Road in 2013 and sentenced Ulbreight to life in prison. The whole ordeal was a huge stain on Bitcoin’s reputation. Today, using Bitcoin for nefarious activities has become increasingly challenging. The reason is that all transactions on Bitcoin are recorded on its public ledger and government agencies have become very sophisticated at tracking down bad actors.
2013-2015: Enter Ethereum
The Ethereum network, created by Vitalik Buterin, went live in 2015 after several years of ideation. The idea behind this open source blockchain project was to expand upon the ideas Bitcoin introduced. While Bitcoin created the idea for a decentralized ‘digital money’, Ethereum proposed adding a layer called smart contracts. A smart contract is similar to a regular contract, but these contracts execute automatically and are recorded in a public ledger. The smart contract element to Ethereum is important because it allows developers to build applications that use these smart contracts. Crypto Voxels, for example, is an Ethereum based application and elements of this game depend on these smart contracts to function.
2013-Present: Dogecoin Mania
2016-2017: The ICO Boom
2020-2021: Crypto Goes Mainstream
2020: NFTs and Digital Art
During the summer of 2017, the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum began to skyrocket with Bitcoin reaching $2,500 USD per coin while Ethereum reached $400 USD per coin. The price increase for both these assets generated widespread media attention and as a result more and more people became interested in crypto-currencies. What ensued next is sometimes referred to as the ‘ICO Boom’, a period where hundreds of new crypto projects were launched using a funding mechanism called an ICO. An ICO is an Initial Coin Offering, where funds for a project are crowdsourced in exchange for tokens in the new crypto-currency. Massive speculation led these new projects to reach high valuations. Some of these projects were legitimate and are still around today, while others were created to capitalize on the furvor of the moment. ICOs are now illegal in the US but that does not mean scams and frauds are gone from the system! It is important to be very careful when you invest in crypto and do diligent research beforehand!
The famous Doge Coin, introduced on December 6, 2013, was created as a joke by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. Their intent was to create a “fun and friendly internet currency” and made the logo a cute Shiba Inu dog to reference the famous “Doge” meme. The founders left the project to focus on other endeavors but the seeds they planted would later grow to as much as 90 billion dollars of value in the crypto currency (reached in May of 2021). The huge rise of Doge Coin was largely aided by celebrities endorsing the crypto-currency, including Elon Musk, Snoop Dog, and even Mark Cuban. Due to it being started as a joke and a lack of developers on the project, some argue that an investment in Doge is risky. However, with the latest mania surrounding the coin, others argue that the community built around doge coin will propel it as a currency into the future.
While crypto currencies have been around since 2009, the mania that occurred in 2020-2021 brought crypto to the forefront. For example, it is estimated that over 50 million Americans own crypto-currencies in 2021. In addition, buying crypto-currency is now easy and available to anyone with access to a smart phone and the internet. Major platforms that offer crypto investments include Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, Coinbase, Robinhood, and many more! As Crypto enters the mainstream, more and more applications will be built using the underlying technology. If you are interested in learning more, check out our ‘wall of resources’ downstairs.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are a form of digital ownership, where the proof of ownership is recorded on a public blockchain. This new form of ownership gained attention in 2020-2021 as people began to buy digital art in the form of an NFT. What is interesting about NFTs is that art is not the only item you can buy as a non-fungible token! Some other items you can own in NFT format include digital real estate, collectibles, assets within games (like outfits), music and more. While buying digital art was one of the first applications to go mainstream, some people believe ownership in the form of NFT will apply to many more industries in the future as the world moves digital.
People to follow on twitter: - @100trillionUSD - @nic_carter - @RaoulGMI - @balajis - @AriDavidPaul Learn more about the protocols: BTC: https://bitcoin.org/en/how-it-works ETH: https://ethereum.org/en/learn/ DOGE: https://dogecoin.com/ NFTs: https://www.investopedia.com/non-fungible-tokens-nft-5115211
Other Useful Links: https://messari.io/ https://www.analytics4bitcoin.com/
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13 Ash Lane
Far Far Away
0 to 13 meters
160 square meters