In our previous posts we looked at the philosophy behind Bitcoin. In this post, we will look at one historical milestone in Bitcoin’s history, that led to the cryptocurrency to become a mainstream attraction.

Rise of Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in late 2008 and become operational in the very early days of 2009. In those early days, most people regarded it as a toy or an experiment (including Satoshi himself).

After it became popular among a small circle of people, mainly cypherpunks, the real emergence of Bitcoin came in when Wikileaks decided to accept donations in Bitcoin. After Visa and Mastercard suspended payments sent by small donors, Wikileaks was forced to search for an alternative system and turned to Bitcoin for help.

Image by bohed  from Pixabay

While this plea for help was mostly greeted with enthusiasm in the community, there was one major opponent to this idea:

It was Satoshi himself.

Statue of Satoshi that was recently unveiled in Hungary. Source: Reddit

Satoshi thought Bitcoin is not ready yet for the ‘prime time’, meaning the mass adoption. In Satoshi’s eyes, it was still an experiment that had to be fine-tuned.


Here comes the beauty (or the drawback for some) of the blockchain systems. These systems are not owned by one person. Even though Satoshi objected to the idea, he had no power to block it. After all Bitcoin was an open-source project, which is accessible by anyone - this was the ‘whole point’ about it anyways.

So Wikileaks decided to continue accepting Bitcoin. Actually, one week after the above message, Satoshi username ‘faded to black’ in other words, disappeared from the existence. (The only message he posted was a couple of years later when he mentioned that “he is not Dorian Nakamoto”)


So after years of being a ‘toy’ among a group of like-minded people, Bitcoin was finally brought into world-stage in one night.

There were many milestones in Bitcoin’s history that helped the cryptocurrency to become the world’s leading cryptocurrency and an alternative asset (such as the famous pizza incident), but Wikileaks incident was the real game changers in that sense.

This piece is first published in BlockchainIST Center on September 18th, 2021.

None of the views expressed in this article should be considered as investment advice