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Photographers take pictures in front of mock bitcoin ATM
Image: Photographers take pictures in front of mock bitcoin ATM. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

The Most Amazing Bitcoin News From 2017

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Image: Photographers take pictures in front of mock bitcoin ATM. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

As 2017 comes to a close, looking back over a Bitcoin yearly summary can feel like quite the wild rollercoaster ride. While some say the cryptocurrency’s explosive growth in Bitcoin price and popularity makes it an astounding investment, others insist it is a bubble about to burst.

Looking back over the past year only underscores the fact that there is no way to tell what the future holds as nobody could have guessed that where the crypto was last January would bring it to where it is today.

The following are the top headline-making Bitcoin news topics from 2017:

January

January 1 – Microsoft adds support for Bitcoin in latest Excel version

Microsoft announced its intentions to add extensive support for Bitcoin in its Excel 2017 release, letting users format, calculate and analyze the cyrptocurrency on the platform

January – Bitcoin hits 3 year high with $1,000 USD

The Bitcoin price broke the $1,000 mark for the first time in three years in an achievement credited to a boost in demand from within the Chinese market.

January 17 – China cracks down on Bitcoin exchanges, Prices fall from $1,000 to $750

Chinese authorities announced their intentions to begin a cryptocurrency exchange crackdown, causing sharp upward Bitcoin trends in a sudden freefall from $1,000 to about $750.

January 30 – Hackers hold hotel guests’ keys hostage, demanding Bitcoin ransom

European luxury hotel, Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt in Austria replaced its electronic key cards with traditional locks and keys after hackers locked all 180 guests out of their rooms, forcing the hotel to pay €1,500 worth of Bitcoins to regain access to the rooms.

February

February 4 – Almost $1 billion worth of Bitcoins stuck in transaction backlog

Over 900,000, worth nearly $1 billion at the time, was trapped in limbo for hours due to a transaction demand greater than the cryptocurrency network’s processing capacity.

February 6 – Illinois town announces 10,000 Bitcoin sale

The Illinois village of Vernon Hills announced the sale of about 10,000 Bitcoins over Coinbase it had seized the previous year during a criminal drug investigation.

February 9 – The Philippines Central Bank approves new Bitcoin exchange regulation

The Philippine Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), issued a new approval for regulations to govern a cryptocurrency exchange operation, stating virtual currencies had “the potential to revolutionize” financial services delivery.

February 15 – Leading Japanese banks invest in Bitcoin exchange

Japan’s leading banking groups invest $1.75 million into BitFlyer, the largest Bitcoin exchange in the country. The purpose of the investment is to apply the cryptocurrency knowhow at the exchange for boosting security and reducing the cost of remittance wire transfers.

Logo of Bitcoin is seen on an advertisement of an electronic shop in Tok...
Image: Bitcoin trade in Japan accounts for about half of the global trade volume. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

February 16 – Coin.mx Bitcoin exchange trial begins in New York

The two creators of the then defunct Coin.mx Bitcoin exchange, Trevon Gross and Anthony Murgio went to trial after a slight delay, after pleading guilty to several charges the month before, including participation in 2014 cybercrime activities and obscuring exchange activities.

February 22 – Bank of Canada says Bitcoin needs regulation

The Bank of Canada labeled Bitcoin a “private digital currency”, stating that it required regulation, which was in direct opposition to the market’s opinion and overall Bitcoin trends.

March

March 2 – Bitcoin’s “creator” races to patent technology with gambling tycoon

Craig Wright, an Australian who last year pretended to be the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, partnered with wealthy Canadian entrepreneur Calvin Ayre (a fugitive from the United States for illegal gambling operations) to patent both the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

March 2 – One Bitcoin price rises higher than an ounce of gold

For the first time, a single Bitcoin’s value rose above the price of an ounce of gold, marking an important milestone for the growth and popularity of the cryptocurrency.

 

March 10 – SEC rejects Bitcoin ETF application from Winklevoss twins

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected an application by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss with regards to a proposed exchange-traded fund (ETF) for Bitcoin. The SEC said the rejection was because Bitcoin exchanges are susceptible to “fraudulent or manipulative acts and practices.”

March 11 – Norway prosecutors tell drug dealers to pay penalty in Bitcoins

Norwegian police worked with law enforcement worldwide and arrested three men for operating global online drug sales. Prosecutors demanded that those involved in the drug ring must repay their profits in 3.1 million Norwegian kroner as well as 120 Bitcoins (each of which were worth 10,000 kroner at the time).

March 17 – Bitcoin exchanges create plan in case network splits

A group of almost 20 exchanges came together to release a contingency plan in case the Bitcoin network should ever split in two, what is known as a hard fork, forming two currencies in competition with each other. The exchanges listed Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) as a software alternate.’

April

April 3 – Bitcoin spikes after Japan makes it a legal payment transaction method

After months of debate, Japan’s federal legislature passed a law making it legal to use Bitcoin as a form of payment for making purchases of products and services.

April 3 – Kim Dotcom announces new content uploader monetization using Bitcoin

Kim Dotcom, the controversial internet mogul from New Zealand launched a Bitcoin payments system allowing users to sell video streaming and files.  This amidst a legal battle in the United States in which he faced extradition for criminal copyright charges.

April 12 – Indian government forms committee to study Bitcoin framework

The Indian government formed an interdisciplinary committee, including the participation of the country’s central bank, tasked with gaining a better understanding of cryptocurrency frameworks such as Bitcoin’s.

April 20 – Billionaire investor holds 10% of his life savings in Bitcoin, predicting price to hit $2,000

Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz revealed he had tucked 10 percent of his net worth into cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether, calling it “the best investment of my life.”

April 27 – The Bitcoin price reaches another all-time high

Bitcoin’s price hit an all-time high on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) when it struck beyond $1,330, having broken beyond the previous record at the time which had been $1,325 on March 10.

May

May 9 – Fed’s Kashkari says greater potential in blockchain than Bitcoin

Federal Reserve of Minneapolis president, Neel Kashkari, criticized the ease of creation of cryptocurrencies, saying that the true value of Bitcoin is in blockchain, not the virtual currency itself.

May 11 – Australia recognizes Bitcoin as legal tender and traders will not be taxed

Australia announced that Bitcoin would be treated as money starting July 1, 2017 and goods and services tax (GST) would be charged to neither investors nor traders purchasing and selling it.

May 15 – Disney film held for Bitcoin ransom by hackers

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that hackers had stolen an unreleased film and would be releasing it in 20-minute segments unless the House of Mouse agreed to pay a ransom in Bitcoin.

May 20 – Bitcoin just surged past $2,000 for the first time                       

For the first time, Bitcoin trends sent the cryptocurrency’s price above the $2,000 per coin mark.  This value was assigned by several exchanges.

June

June 11 – Bitcoin breaks through the $3,000 milestone for new all-time high

Bitcoin news headline exploded as the cryptocurrency skyrocketed beyond $3,000 for the first time in its history, according to the Bitcoin Price Index at Coindesk.

June 16 – Goldman Sachs forecasts bearish movement as Bitcoin passes $3,100

Goldman Sachs predicted that once Bitcoin moved beyond $3,100, it would begin to fall soon afterward as a result of the cryptocurrency’s continued bullish movement.

June 20 – Bitcoin symbol added to new texting emoji set

The popularity of Bitcoin reached the point that it was deemed worthy of having its symbol included in the latest Unicode Standard emoji set used by texters worldwide.

June 25 – Savvy high school student becomes Bitcoin millionaire

On a bet with his parents, Erik Finman invested $1,000 in Bitcoin when it was valued at $12 in 2011. His agreement was that if he became a millionaire by 18 years old, he wouldn’t have to attend college.  His 403 Bitcoins were valued at $2,700 each.

June 27 – Barclays works with regulators to add Bitcoin and Altcoins to financial system

Bitcoin entered into talks with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other financial regulators about the role Bitcoin, Altcoin and other cryptocurrencies can play in existing systems.

June 30 – British dealer charged in US fake Bitcoin site scam worth millions

American authorities charged a U.K. businessman with securities fraud over accusations of having deceived his investors through the use of a fake Bitcoin trading platform.

July

July 8 – Wall Street strategist predicts Bitcoin price will reach $55,000 by 2022

Fundstrat strategist Tom Lee issued a forecast for Bitcoin, saying that he predicted the cryptocurrency’s value will have reached $55,000 by the close of 2022.

July 11 – Head of Mt Gox Bitcoin exchange on trial for embezzlement and loss of millions

Mark Karpelès, head of Mt. Gox, a failed Bitcoin exchange which had once been among the world’s largest, pleaded not guilty to charges linked with the loss off hundreds of millions of dollars of the cryptocurrency and cash.

July 13 – Swiss bank becomes first to offer Bitcoin to its richest clients

Swiss Bank, Falcon Private Bank, is now offering to purchase Bitcoins on behalf of its most affluent clients, marking a first for conventional types of bank.

July 17 – Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices take a nosedive

Over the span of a week, cryptocurrencies experienced a sharp decline in their value, with Bitcoin falling by 38 percent from its all time high and Etherium dropping 67 percent from its high.

July 27 – Billionaire investor Howard Marks says cryptocurrencies ‘aren’t real’

Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital Management founder and billionaire investor, stands firm on his previous claim, saying about Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies that “They’re not real.”

August

August 8 – Putin’s aide attempting to rival Chinese Bitcoin mining with $100 million goal

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s internet advisors owns a company with intentions of Bitcoin mining up to $100 million in order to help the country’s businesses to challenge those in China.

August 15 – Blockstream uses satellites to send Bitcoin back to the planet

The Bitcoin infrastructure company officially launched the Blockstream Satellite in a high tech strategy to integrate the use of leased satellites to send Bitcoin to just about anywhere in the world.

August 17 – Australia joins Japan in an attempt at Bitcoin regulation

Australia joined other countries such as China and Japan in working to regulate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in an attempt to reduce terrorism financing and money laundering.

August 22 – Outspoken Bitcoin skeptic Mark Cuban to make cryptocurrency fund investment
Mark Cuban was anything but subtle about his doubts in Bitcoin but has decided to invest in the 1confirmation cryptocurrency fund which would be investing in blockchain-based companies.

August 31 – Bitcoin Price reaches all new high point at over $4,800

CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) valued the cryptocurrency at a new high, after it passed the $4,800 mark before having fallen back down again later in the day.

September

September 12 – FCA cautions Bitcoin investors that they could lose it all

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a strong warning against the wild surge in Bitcoin speculation over initial coin offerings (ICOs), saying there is a risk of considerable loss.

September 12 – JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon calls Bitcoin a fraud in a bubble that will burst

The head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, called Bitcoin a fraud, saying that it was a form of currency suitable only for murderers and drug dealers, and that its value would eventually tank.

September 17 – The Pirate Bay added CPU-highjacking Bitcoin miner to certain pages

Controversial Pirate Bay torrent file sharing site started Bitcoin mining through new Javascript based banners being added to some of its pages, including the homepage.

September 19 – China orders closure of Bitcoin exchanges in capital city

China moved ahead with its intention to close Bitcoin exchanges throughout the country, beginning with platforms in key cities such as its capital of Beijing as well as Shanghai.

September 29 – South Korea joins China in Bitcoin ICO ban

On the heels of China’s central bank’s decision to ban Bitcoin’s initial coin offerings (ICOs), South Korea has announced that it would doing the same thing.

October

October 3 – BlackRock’s Fink says Bitcoin illustrates size of global money laundering problem

BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink points to the popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as what he calls an illustration of the extent of global money laundering.

October 10 – Bitcoin price spike cuts out with threats of Russian cryptocurrency exchange ban

Russia’s central bank announced its intentions to ban Bitcoin exchange site access, causing the cryptocurrency’s price to experience a $600 droop before seeing a slight rebound.

October 16 – Julian Assange claims he made a 50,000 percent Bitcoin return

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claimed to have been an early Bitcoin investor which has since brought him returns of more than 50,000 percent, as he continues to run from the American government.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London
Image: Julian Assange thanked the U.S. government after it pushed companies like MasterCard to block payments to WikiLeaks in 2010. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

October 26 – Bitcoin compared to “reserve form of money” by Peter Thiel

PayPal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel feels critics have underestimated Bitcoin and that it is a promising “reserve form of money” depending on its future trajectory.

October 31 – Bitcoin reaches yet another all-time high following CME Group plans

Bitcoin struck yet another price high, having broken through the $6,300 mark following an announcement from CME Group, the largest futures operator in the world, that it would launch a regulated cryptocurrency trading venue.

November

November 1 – Amazon purchases three domain names related to cryptocurrency

Amazon caused massive speculation when it purchased three new domain names connected with cryptocurrency, including: amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com, denying intentions to move into that space.

November 2 – Credit Suisse CEO calls Bitcoin the ‘Very Definition’ of a Bubble

According to Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam, Bitcoin speculation at was the “very definition of a bubble” as the cryptocurrency price passed $7,000.

November 7 – ‘Buy Bitcoin’ online search phrase exceeds ‘Buy Gold’

Google Trends data revealed that searches for “buy bitcoin” worldwide had surpassed those using the search phrase “buy gold” for the first time and after having already passed searches about buying silver.

November 27 – Bitcoin approaches $10,000 as hedge funds ram forward

Bitcoin struck a new record high as it moved well beyond $9,000 and progressed ever closer to the $10,000 mark, with investors bolder despite being cautioned about a bubble.

November 28 – Elon Musk was given Bitcoin as a gift and promptly lost it

In a tweet, Elon Musk denied being Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin whose true identity has yet to be known, while Musk also tweeted that he was given a Bitcoin as a gift a few years ago, but he no longer knows where it is.

November 29 – NASDAQ will offer Bitcoin futures contracts to investors in 2018

Second largest stock exchange in the world, NASDAQ, announced it will offer Bitcoin futures contracts in 2018, letting investors bet on the cryptocurrency’s price increases and drops.

November 30 – IRS wins battle with Bitcoin over Coinbase account access

A US federal court judge ordered Coinbase to comply with an IRS summons to identify 14,355 Bitcoin accounts which have generated almost 9 million unique transactions.

December

December 2 – Bitcoin mining requires more electricity in a year than Ireland

A report revealed that at the same time the cryptocurrency’s price rose above $9,000, Bitcoin mining was consuming more electrical power every year than all of Ireland.

December 4 – Winklevoss twins become the first Bitcoin billinoaires

As the Bitcoin price rose above $11,500, the Winklevoss twins officially became the first people in the world to be billionaires as a result of cryptocurrency investments.

December 12 – Bitcoin futures launch on Cboe Global Markets, driving price higher

Bitcoin futures debut at Cboe Global Markets were very well received, with great enough interest to cause the main site to experience temporary outages, driving the cryptocurrency’s price higher.

December 20 – Indian couple asks guests for Bitcoin wedding gifts

A couple from India, Prashant Sharma and Niti Shree, are betting their future on Bitcoin, having asked guests to their marriage to give them Bitcoin as their wedding gifts.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.