We all know that Kin is a unique digital currency, that it has value and utility, and that the Kin Ecosystem, currently in development, is going to be big--very big. But let’s look back for a moment. In order to see the scope of what’s happening, and where we’re going, it might be useful to look back, at where we’ve been. submitted by
Kin was started by the good folks at KIK Messenger. As Facebook and Google grew to gargantuan proportions, it became obvious to all that the old-school model of Advertisement Placement for monetization was becoming untenable for anyone other than the biggest and most entrenched of companies. Yes, the Facebooks and Googles of the world were doing fine with monetization via advertisements, and were busily scalping data from their users in a feeding frenzy to capitalize on the one asset they could sell… those users’ attention.
While most users thought Facebook was designed to give the social media platform as the product, and that they themselves were the customers, the reality is far different. The truth is that the advertisers were the actual customers, and Facebook users were the actual product. Very much like the Matrix, isn’t it? We are fed a social media mental “pudding,” and in return we give Facebook hours and hours of our attention… which it then sells to the advertisers.
Understandably, this realization came as a shock to those who were able to see and understand this revelation. Many users still do not grasp the reality of the situation, and are happily, mindlessly eating the pudding.
Leaving aside the distasteful mental image this business model give us, it created a problem for up-and-coming, and smaller but established Social Media companies. The smaller SM operations were left in a bit of a financial quandary… advertisers were loathe to spend on smaller platforms, because the reach of the giant platforms was so large and all inclusive. The remainder were basically crumbs on the floor.
From this basic problem… and the ensuing economic reality… came the idea for Kin.
Monetization is a concept that no one really enjoys talking about. For most of us, we’ve come to accept that ads are a necessary evil that we pay attention to in order to receive content; at this point most of us simply grit our teeth and press on. No, I’m never ever going to buy that silly spray to cover up the smell of your poo, but go ahead, play the damned video ad… again. I digress.
But what if there was a way to change the dynamic so that the SM platform user’s attention was no longer the product that got sold to monetize the operation? What if the user could sell his or her OWN attention, and be rewarded thusly? And what if there was a way to compensate developers and businesses who work in the ecosystem for this activity as well?
What if the user actually became a rewarded participant in the engine that generated income? And was even able to generate income for themselves in the process? What if a system was designed to reward users, developers and investors, all at the same time?
This is the basic premise of Kin.
THE GENESIS of KIN
In 2009, Kik Interactive was formed by a group of college students at the University of Waterloo, Canada, in order to create applications for mobile devices and smartphones. Soon thereafter, the Kik Messenger was launched. In it’s first fifteen days, Kik enrolled over one million users. Over the years, Kik has solidified itself as a strong niche player in the messaging app world. Initially, Kik monetized itself by placing advertisements, but realized over time that ad revenue might not be the best way to keep Kik in solvent.
After several years of struggle, Kik embarked on an experiment and instituted a program called “Kik Points.” This program allowed Kik users to participate in a very basic and limited “earn and spend” program. The users would answer surveys, or watch videos, in order to “earn” Kik Points… which they could then spend on in-app programs like sticker packs or emojis. What the Kik folks saw was a very enthusiastic, large group of people working to earn, and then spend Kik Points, in a transactional rate and density that dwarfs that of every cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin.
Kik then knew it was onto something. The team got to work, and after years of design, Kin was born. The Kin token was introduced into the crypto universe through an ICO (initial coin offering).
The Basics of Kin
Kin is the first cryptocurrency designed for mass-adoption and utility. It was engineered, specifically, to act as a currency to be used in millions of daily small and micro-transactions. In other words, it was a coin designed to be “spent” by the masses, not held by speculators.
Kin is designed to reward people for using the coin. The Kin Rewards Engine (KRE) pays Kin to users and developers who contribute to the ecosystem. This does “inflate” the circulating supply of the coin, which in turn keeps the value of the individual coins in check, but in reality this is a core design component of Kin. Kin is designed to grow in value, but is designed to grow more slowly because of the extreme volatility witnessed in the growth of other coins. This kind of volatility would destroy Kin’s ability to be used as a true currency. The KRE serves two purposes, then; to reward those who boost the ecosystem thought their efforts, and to moderate the extreme peaks and valleys that have plagued cryptocurrency since the invention of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, for example, has morphed into a “store of wealth” rather than an actual usable currency. It is “deflationary” in nature; in other words, the scarcity of it is the sole driver of it’s value. The high cost of Bitcoin transactions, extreme value fluctuations and slow processing speed all hinder its use as a true currency. Additionally, why would someone spend Bitcoin when it may appreciate significantly in a short period of time? We all have heard the story about the two pizzas that were bought with 40,000 BTC… which would make those two pizzas worth over $300 million dollars today. And why would a merchant accept a currency that might lose a large percentage of it’s value very quickly? With a deflationary, speculative currency like Bitcoin, swings of plus or minus 30 to 50% within a few days are not uncommon.
Kin, on the other hand, is designed to be used and spent by millions of users. It’s value will also grow significantly, but that growth will be relatively stable, with few of the huge peaks and valleys we’ve all seen in other cryptocurrencies. This is directly due to the large initial supply of Kin tokens (756 billion) the large maximum supply (10 trillion) and the design of the KRE. Most people with any crypto experience see that 10 trillion figure (the maximum circulating supply of Kin) to be a huge detriment at first blush. This is because they haven’t grasped the need for that many tokens. Looking at it from the perspective of other crypto, 10T coins is a ludicrous, astronomical number of coins. And with any other coin, it would bake no sense.
But Kin is unique. It’s a true currency, not a store of wealth. It is designed to create value growth through usage, not through speculative buying, selling and holding. When Kin reaches mass adoption, the larger supply of coins will keep the price of the coin relatively stable while it grows in value, and will significantly reduce volatility.
Notice that I did not say that the large supply will reduce appreciation; it won’t. That’s because while Kin is designed to be an inexpensive coin, and should never experience the volatility of Bitcoin, that doesn’t mean it won’t gain and accumulate value. It most definitely will. There are no limits to that appreciation, and those who buy Kin now, while the price is well below 1/100ths of a cent, will see significant return on their investment. That opportunity, as significant as it is, is not going to last much longer, and will not be available again.
Kin is designed to go against the “normal” crypto path of pump and dump. It is not designed for arbitrage trading. Again, it is designed for utility, to be earned and spent, unlike most cryptocurrencies.
Kin is designed to be an inflationary coin, not a deflationary coin. In that, I mean that Kin, through the KRE, injects liquidity into the ecosystem and does not appreciate solely due to its scarcity. The KRE rewards those who have significant positive effect on the ecosystem by awarding Kin to those entities or people. If you develop an app that captures people’s imaginations and is wildly successful (think PokemonGo), and you’re using Kin to monetize that app, that effect on the Kin Ecosystem will be greatly rewarded with equivalent Kin. By injecting this liquidity into the ecosystem, the KRE rewards those who make the ecosystem work. This also tends to have an inflationary effect that slows the growth of the coin into a manageable upward trajectory, versus a hyperbolic, exponential increase.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is deflationary… which means that no new BTC will be brought into the BTC system, and its value is based solely on that perceived scarcity. Since it has no mass adoption or real utility, and it’s value can rise and fall very quickly in large amounts. People buy Bitcoin for two reasons only today; speculation, and movement of fiat currencies into other cryptocurrencies. Speculation is the reason most people get into cryptocurrencies; with the advent of Kin, that will no longer be the case. Once Kin begins mass adoption, the majority of people in cryptocurrencies will be in Kin, and will be using, earning and spending Kin without buying the coin on an exchange. They will not be speculators, they will be users.
Speculation has been the name of the crypto game in the past, of course, but that is about to change. Speculation on crypto will become the minority use case, not the majority. Bitcoin will always have a place, obviously, but can you buy groceries with it? Can you pay your electric bill? Can you go out to eat using Bitcoin? No. Bitcoin will always be the first cryptocurrency, but it is not a mass-adoptable currency with any single, strong use case in its current form. Kin was designed with Bitcoin’s failings in mind.
The question comes up: Will Kin ever be a truly valuable coin, even with a ten trillion coin supply? The answer is an emphatic YES, it will. It will never be a short-term investment; there will be no 10x tomorrow, or 100x next week. But for the patient, the growth is coming. For the long term HODLer, the rewards will be significant indeed.
Let me explain why the Kin Foundation, in designing Kin, chose to make the circulating supply 10 trillion Kin tokens.
Why are there 10 Trillion Kin?
To be a true currency with mass adoption, used by millions of people, there needs to be a large amount of Kin available. Otherwise, in very short order, people would be using Kin in decimals. It was decided that people would rather earn and spend multiples of Kin (i.e., 1000 Kin or 500 Kin) versus decimals of Kin (i.e., 0.0001 Kin or 0.0005 Kin), as is now necessary with Bitcoin, Ethereum and many others. Note that Kin can also be used in decimal divisions, so that in the future, the value of Kin will never be limited by an inability to be used by the decimal.
In order to tamp down the extremely volatile nature of many cryptocurrencies, a larger circulating and available supply is necessary. A balance was found at 10T where the supply is large enough to meet the needs of the millions of users, but was small enough to not interfere with the growth of value in the coin. The Kin Rewards Engine (KRE) is key to this balance. By injecting Kin liquidity into the ecosystem, it rewards those who enable and grow the system, but it also minimizes volatility and keeps value growth down to a sustainable, non-hyperbolic/non-exponential growth curve. In this, it both creates opportunity and eases fears of volatility, for users, developers and merchants alike.
There are currently 756 billion Kin tokens in circulation; most of the remainder are held by the Kin Foundation for their own use, and for rewarding those who enable the ecosystem via the KRE. The KRE is schedule to begin operation in Q3 2018. As the value of Kin appreciates, the number of Kin injected via the KRE will change, though the total value will not. For this reason, the KRE stands to be in operation, injecting liquidity, rewarding innovation and ecosystem enhancement and controlling volatility for many, many years to come.
In the end, 10 trillion coins will not be enough to satisfy the long term needs and desires of the masses. If 50 million people are using Kin, this works out to only 200,000 Kin available per user. Most early adoptecapitalists in the ecosystem hold many, many more than that. This eventual scarcity will drive the value of Kin up significantly; I won’t prognosticate how high. There is, however, no limiting factor. I am very bullish at this prospect… because of the last item, number 5.
Metcalfe's Law shows the correlation between the usage of a telecommunications system, the size of it’s network, and its value. As the number of users grow, this law shows us that there is a direct correlation between the supply, the number of transactions per day, and the approximate value of that coin. This law follows closely the movement of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrency systems, and shows that Kin will benefit from mass adoption and millions of daily transactions from tens or hundreds of millions of users. Without a large supply, this would not be possible.
The design of Kin requires 10 Trillion coins to be available to execute the plan. And the plan is to allow users, developers and investors to all reap the benefits of a vibrant and growing ecosystem. When there are hundreds of millions of users in the ecosystem, the value of Kin will be greater than most people can imagine. It’s an exciting time, to be sure!
So we’ve looked at why the circulating supply is important, and why it’s different from other currencies. Let’s look at the center of why this works, the KRE.
The Kin Rewards Engine: How it will disrupt Social Media monetization
How often do you log onto YouTube, or Facebook, or any other Social Media site, and click on a video you’d like to see? Before the video starts, though, you are forced to watch an advertisement… maybe it’s something you want to know more about, but more often than not, it isn’t.
What if someone was reading your chat messages and saw you were talking about buying new running shoes, and there’s the ad for that, placed right in your face. Currently, the harvesting of your personal and private conversations is real and ongoing… putting that aside (and that’s a wholly different problem that Kin solves), someone is making money by scraping your personal data off of private communications and browsing histories, creating ads that target your interests, and then forcing you to watch those advertisements. A bot is reading your data, intuiting your thoughts, and someone profiting off of you.
George Orwell’s “1984” called this person “Big Brother.”
The KRE puts an end to this exploitative monetization model. The advertiser compensates you directly for viewing that advertisement, or answering that ad, or for playing that game. You can then spend your Kin on spend opportunities like branded Gift Cards from hundreds of big named merchants like Amazon, McDonalds, and Best Buy, or the user can take their Kin to an exchange and sell it for the fiat currency of their choice, US Dollars, Euros, GBP or Yen. You can use your Kin to buy music, to view curated content, or to tip a content provider. Paywalls for online journalism will become a thing of the past.
The KRE will reward the developer or person or company who placed the ad and contributed to the ecosystem. The user is allowed to contribute financially to content they value; instead of having their personal information sold to an advertiser. The user also can benefit financially for their own intellectual efforts and content creation.
Businesses and developers will be able to easily move their Kin to exchanges to trade for fiat currency; this enables them to pay bills and salaries, and reinvest in other parts of their business. This also creates liquidity for exchange trading, which is an important part of the Kin Ecosystem.
In this way, the KRE will rewards users, developers and investors who participate by adding value to the ecosystem. It will be an “open” ecosystem, allowing people to choose their use of Kin, whether it be purchases within apps, soft monetization via giftcards, or hard monetization via exchange trading for fiat currency. It may also become an option for game fans, hobby coders and enthusiasts to produce a living income via Kin.
Why are there two types of Kin?
Initially, Kin was designed to exist on a single blockchain infrastructure, the Ethereum Blockchain. Kin’s ICO was performed on the ETH Blockchain, and all Kin currently available to buy on exchanges are ERC20 tokens, built around Ethereum.
Last year, Ethereum experienced significant delays in transaction times because of a game that had been built on the platform, called “CryptoKitties.” This game became very popular very quickly with Crypto fans, and in their exuberance, their usage crashed the Ethereum platform.
The Kin Foundation realized that Ethereum, in its current form, was neither fast enough, nor robust enough to support the millions of users of Kin. Something had to be done.
The Foundation decided to seek another blockchain for Kin. Something faster, stronger, and secure enough for the millions of users of Kin to have near instantaneous, secure transactions, no matter what. A couple of solutions were found: The Stellar Lumens blockchain (XLM) was chosen because of it’s transaction speed, utility and robust nature, and the Orbs blockchain, which can stand as a replacement if there is a problem with Stellar down the road.
But what about exchanges? Kin on Ethereum can expect to be on many exchanges, and that access to liquidity that is essential to the success of the project. Kin on Lumens or on Orbs wouldn’t have widespread access to exchanges. This was a dilemma, The solution was to create the first ever two-blockchain cryptocurrency.
All Kin bought and sold on exchanges is on the Ethereum blockchain. Kin to be used in the KRE, the Kik app and the Kinit app, and in the remainder of the Kin Ecosystem, will be based on the Stellar Lumens blockchain. The two types of Kin will be functionally identical in value, and freely interchangeable between the two blockchains.
Basically, users will earn and spend Kin (XLM) in the Kin Ecosytem, due to Stellar’s robust design and fast transaction speed, but when they wish to move their Kin to an exchange, their Kin (XLM) will be exchanged for Kin (ETH) on a 1 for 1 basis prior to moving the Kin to the exchange of their choice for trading purposes.
In this way, the needs of all Kin users will be met. And should Stellar be someday unable to meet the demands of mass adoption, the Orbs Blockchain, and others, are available for later development. In any event, this dichotomy of Kin will be mostly transparent to the user, and will not impact the value or the utility of the currency.
The Kin Foundation has developed this dual-blockchain technology so that Kin can become the first mass-adopted, widely used cryptocurrency in the world.
So, how much will Kin be worth?
This is a big question. Many naysayers don’t believe Kin will appreciate significantly because of the large supply. This is based on their past experiences with Cryptos that don’t have utility and are simply speculative in nature. That’s not the case with Kin.
To be completely honest, no one knows how much appreciation Kin will experience, or when it will reach a certain value. Here’s what we do know:
Kin is positioned to be the first mass-adoption cryptocurrency in the world. Today, less than six million people worldwide own or use and cryptocurrency… this is an astonishingly low number. Kik, the messaging app behind Kin, has over 300 million registered users. Kin will be introduced first on the Kik app; Kik app users will have their first opportunities to earn and spend Kin before the end of 2018.
So basically, once Kin is introduced on the Kik app later this year, the number of people using cryptocurrency worldwide will multiply many times. In one day. Kik will introduce crypto to tens of millions of users by the end of the year.
As mentioned before, Metcalfe’s Law shows the relationship between a cryptocurrency value and the usage or transactions conducted by that coin, and the circulating supply. With current supply at 756 billion, and assuming transaction numbers in the 10 million per day range, Kin should be trading at around $0.01 per coin. Remember, however, that the KRE will be raising the circulating supply, and it may take some time to get to 10 million transactions per day. The value of Kin hinges on these numbers. In this, the beginning of the ecosystem, there is no foolproof way to estimate the value of Kin on any certain day.
That said, there is no limit to the value of the coin, over time. None. Not circulating supply, or market capitalization, or anything else. No limit. In a decade, after the ecosystem has matured and is operating solidly, Kin could be worth…. Well, you fill in your own numbers. I have my opinions, and they are not limited by the number of coins, the market cap or anything else designed into the coin. For me, it all hinges on mass adoption and usage.
Kin has inked a number of partnerships that are exciting and will stand the ecosystem well into the future. Two recently announced partnerships are UNITY and BLACKHAWK NETWORK.
Unity is the ultimate game development platform. It brings together developers and technical assets in ways that allow the creation of some of the world’s most popular digital games. There were 5 billion downloads of games made with Unity in Q3 2016 alone. Today, games that were made with Unity exist on 2.5 billion unique mobile devices.
App and game developers will be able to insert Kin’s “5 minute SDK” (Software development kit) into the code of their app or game, and be monetizing their efforts with Kin in minutes. This “plug and play” approach makes the Kin Ecosystem and its rewards accessible to almost every developer, without the expense, time and research of developing a cryptocurrency. It truly is bringing cryptocurrency to the masses.
Simply plug the “5 minute SDK” into your code, launch/update it, and within minutes, you’re creating revenue. Your users will also have earn/spend opportunities, and your game/app usage will grow dramatically. No more sharing your revenue with the Apple App Store, or with Google Play Store. This is a huge increase in revenue for developers.
Blackhawk Networks is the leading gift card supplier. Simply put, if you’ve ever used a gift card, it most probably came from Blackhawk Networks; that’s how deep their market goes. Over 250 different branded gift cards will be available for developers to choose from for their users to select, based on their personal knowledge of the demographic. Is your app a traffic or mapping app? Perhaps your users would appreciate being able to earn Kin to buy a Dunkin Donuts cash card. Because, coffee. Is your app a fitness app? Perhaps a Nike gift card is more appropriate. Is it a game geared towards younger users? There’s always McDonalds. A dating app? How about a card for flower delivery?
You can see that the options are endless. And don’t forget, the user AND the developer can choose to move their kin to other apps for other options, or to large cryptocurrency exchanges, where they can exchange their Kin for dollars, euros, etc.
In this way, the ecosystem is enhanced, the cycle begins again, and the KRE continues to reward.
One of the things that first got me excited about Kin was learning that Kik and Kin were heavily invested in by Tencent, the Chinese behemoth company behind WeChat. I travel extensively to China for my day job, and it was an incredible realization to see that most Chinese don’t carry paper currency anymore. Hundreds of millions of Chinese use WeChat every day to purchase everyday things like food, movies, clothing and the like. WeChat connects to the user’s bank account, and instantaneously debits the accounts when the user makes a purchase. Many retail outlets and vending machines in China no longer accept credit cards, and fiat purchases are dwindling in number.
Tencent’s interest in Kin is significant. Imagine Kik, using Kin, evolving into something similar… with hundreds of millions of people using Kin to conduct a significant amount of the economic transactions in their daily life! The adoption and utility numbers are mind boggling.
Additionally, there are a number of heavy hitters in the Crypto space investment community. Union Square Ventures (USV) is an investment fund that has bet heavily on Kik, and thereby, on Kin. Other investments from USV include CoinBase, Koko, DuckDuckGo, CodeAcademy, DuoLingo, Wattpad, SoundCloud, Foresquare, Kickstarter, Meetup, Etsy, Disqus, Tumblr, Twitter and Zynga. As you can see, Kin is extremely well positioned, and the monetization opportunity Kin represents for these companies is being explored.
Wrapping it all up in a big red bow…
The TL;DR version is this: Kin is poised to become the most used cryptocurrency in existence in 2018. As the KRE comes online, Kin is introduced to the Kik Community, the discrete Kin app (Kinit App) is released, the 5-minute SDK is finalized, more partnerships come online, more and major exchanges offer Kin trading, and word spreads, expect the value of Kin to begin growing significantly.
Kin currently sits near the bottom of the top 100 cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization, but the expectation is that Kin will rise towards the top of the top 100 in short order. As the value increases, so does market cap. Don’t make the mistake of thinking market capitalization limits the growth of Kin in any way; it will be the usage and mass adoption that will grow the value.
As the crypto market recovers from the last few months, look for Kin to accelerate its growth as more partnerships and exchanges are announced. Once the KRE begins operations, the value of Kin will grow more quickly. I do not expect Kin ever be worth less than it is right now.
The future for Kin is extremely bright. The Kin Foundation has much work left to do, but they are up to the task. Stay informed, and make sure your portfolio has Kin in it!
A (live/editable) timeline of historical events directly or indirectly related to the creation of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
*still workin' on this so check back later and more will be added, if you have any suggested dates/events feel free to lemme know...
This timeline includes dates pertaining to:
- Forms of money
- Banking models
- Bank Bailouts
- Widely accepted economic systems
- Widely accepted forms of government
- Inventions which advanced FinTech
- Inventions in computer science and related technology
- Inventions which connected the world via transportation, communication and information
- Development of cryptography and cyberwar
- Notable Social Movements
- Hyperinflation and National Debts
Ancient Bartering – first recorded in Egypt (resources, services...) – doesn’t scale
Tally sticks were used, making notches in bones or wood, as a form of money of account
9000-6000 BC Livestock considered the first form of currency
c3200 BC Clay tablets used in Uruk (Iraq) for accounting (believed to be the earliest form of writing)
3000 BC Grain is used as a currency, measured out in Shekels
3000 BC Banking developed in Mesopotamia
3000 BC? Punches used to stamp symbols on coins were a precursor to the printing press and modern coins
? BC Since ancient Persia and all the way up until the invention and expansion of the telegraph Homing Pigeons were used to carry messages
2000 BC Merchants in Assyria, India and Sumeria lent grain to farmers and traders as a precursor to banks
1700 BC In Babylon at the time of Hammurabi, in the 18th century BC, there are records of loans made by the priests of the temple.
1200 BC Shell money first used in China
1000-600 BC Crude metal coins first appear in China
640 BC Precious metal coins – Gold & Silver first used in ancient Lydia and coastal Greek cities featuring face to face heads of a bull and a lion – first official minted currency made from electrum, a mixture of gold and silver
600-500 BC Atbash Cipher
A substitution Cipher used by ancient Hebrew scholars mapping the alphabet in reverse, for example, in English an A would be a Z, B a Y etc.
400 BC Skytale used by Sparta
474 BC Hundreds of gold coins from this era were discovered in Rome in 2018
350 BC Greek hydraulic semaphore system, an optical communication system developed by Aeneas Tacticus.
c200 BC Polybius Square
??? Wealthy stored coins in temples, where priests also lent them out
??? Rome was the first to create banking institutions apart from temples
118 BC First banknote in the form of 1 foot sq pieces of white deerskin
100-1 AD Caesar Cipher
193 Aureus, a gold coin of ancient Rome, minted by Septimius Severus
324 Solidus, pure gold coin, minted under Constantine’s rule, lasted until the late 8th century
600s Paper currency first developed in Tang Dynasty China during the 7th century, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song Dynasty, 960–1279
c757–796 Silver pennies based on the Roman denarius became the staple coin of Mercia in Great Britain around the time of King Offa
806 First paper banknotes used in China but isn’t widely accepted in China until 960
1024 The first series of standard government notes were issued in 1024 with denominations like 1 guàn (貫, or 700 wén), 1 mín (緡, or 1000 wén), up to 10 guàn. In 1039 only banknotes of 5 guàn and 10 guàn were issued, and in 1068 a denomination of 1 guàn was introduced which became forty percent of all circulating Jiaozi banknotes.
1040 The first movable type printer was invented in China and made of porcelain
? Some of the earliest forms of long distance communication were drums used by Native Africans and smoke signals used by Native Americans and Chinese
1088 Movable type in Song Dynasty China
1120 By the 1120s the central government officially stepped in and produced their own state-issued paper money (using woodblock printing)
1150 The Knights Templar issued bank notes to pilgrims. Pilgrims deposited their valuables with a local Templar preceptory before embarking, received a document indicating the value of their deposit, then used that document upon arrival in the Holy Land to retrieve their funds in an amount of treasure of equal value.
1200s-1300s During the 13th century bankers from north Italy, collectively known as Lombards, gradually replace the Jews in their traditional role as money-lenders to the rich and powerful. – Florence, Venice and Genoa - The Bardi and Peruzzi Families dominated banking in 14th century Florence, establishing branches in many other parts of Europe
1200 By the time Marco Polo visited China they’d move from coins to paper money, who introduced the concept to Europe. An inscription warned, "All counterfeiters will be decapitated." Before the use of paper, the Chinese used coins that were circular, with a rectangular hole in the middle. Several coins could be strung together on a rope. Merchants in China, if they became rich enough, found that their strings of coins were too heavy to carry around easily. To solve this problem, coins were often left with a trustworthy person, and the merchant was given a slip of paper recording how much money they had with that person. Marco Polo's account of paper money during the Yuan Dynasty is the subject of a chapter of his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, titled "How the Great Kaan Causeth the Bark of Trees, Made Into Something Like Paper, to Pass for Money All Over his Country."
1252 Florin minted in Florence, becomes the hard currency of its day helping Florence thrive economically
1340 Double-entry bookkeeping - The clerk keeping the accounts for the Genoese firm of Massari painstakingly fills in the ledger for the year 1340.
1397 Medici Bank established
1450 Johannes Gutenberg builds the printing press – printed words no longer just for the rich
1455 Paper money disappears from China
1466 Polyalphabetic Cipher
1466 Rotating cipher disks – Vatican – greatest crypto invention in 1000 yrs – the first system to challenge frequency analysis
1466 First known mechanical cipher machine
1472 The oldest bank still in existence founded, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, headquartered in Siena, Italy
1494 Double-entry bookkeeping system codified by Luca Pacioli
1535 Wampum, a form of currency used by Native Americans, a string of beads made from clamshells, is first document.
1553 Vigenere Cipher
1557 Phillip II of Spain managed to burden his kingdom with so much debt (as the result of several pointless wars) that he caused the world's first national bankruptcy — as well as the world's second, third and fourth, in rapid succession.
1577 Newspaper in Korea
1586 The Babington Plot
1590 Cabinet Noir was established in France. Its mission was to open, read and reseal letters, and great expertise was developed in the restoration of broken seals. In the knowledge that mail was being opened, correspondents began to develop systems to encrypt and decrypt their letters. The breaking of these codes gave birth to modern systematic scientific code breaking.
1600s Promissory banknotes began in London
1600s By the early 17th century banking begins also to exist in its modern sense - as a commercial service for customers rather than kings. – Late 17th century we see cheques slowly gains acceptance
The total of the money left on deposit by a bank's customers is a large sum, only a fraction of which is usually required for withdrawals. A proportion of the rest can be lent out at interest, bringing profit to the bank. When the customers later come to realize this hidden value of their unused funds, the bank's profit becomes the difference between the rates of interest paid to depositors and demanded from debtors.
The transformation from moneylenders into private banks is a gradual one during the 17th and 18th centuries. In England it is achieved by various families of goldsmiths who early in the period accept money on deposit purely for safe-keeping. Then they begin to lend some of it out. Finally, by the 18th century, they make banking their business in place of their original craft as goldsmiths.
1605 Newspaper in Straussburg
c1627 Great Cipher
1637 Wampum is declared as legal tender in the U.S. (where we got the slang word “clams” for money)
1656 Johan Palmstruch establishes the Stockholm Banco
1661 Paper Currency reappears in Europe, soon became common - The goldsmith-bankers of London began to give out the receipts as payable to the bearer of the document rather than the original depositor
1661 Palmstruch issues credit notes which can be exchanged, on presentation to his bank, for a stated number of silver coins
1666 Stockholms Banco, the predecessor to the Central Bank of Sweden issues the first paper money in Europe. Soon went bankrupt for printing too much money.
1667 He issues more notes than his bank can afford to redeem with silver and winds up in disgrace, facing a death penalty (commuted to imprisonment) for fraud.
1668 Bank of Sweden – today the 2nd oldest surviving bank
1694 First Central Bank established in the UK was the first bank to initiate the permanent issue of banknotes
Served as model for most modern central banks.
The modern banknote rests on the assumption that money is determined by a social and legal consensus. A gold coin's value is simply a reflection of the supply and demand mechanism of a society exchanging goods in a free market, as opposed to stemming from any intrinsic property of the metal. By the late 17th century, this new conceptual outlook helped to stimulate the issue of banknotes.
1700s Throughout the commercially energetic 18th century there are frequent further experiments with bank notes - deriving from a recognized need to expand the currency supply beyond the availability of precious metals.
1712 First commercial steam engine
1717 Master of the Royal Mint Sir Isaac Newton established a new mint ratio between silver and gold that had the effect of driving silver out of circulation (bimetalism) and putting Britain on a gold standard.
1735 Classical Economics – markets regulate themselves when free of intervention
1744 Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Founder of the Rothschild Banking Empire, is Born in Frankfurt, Germany
Mayer Amschel Rothschild extended his banking empire across Europe by carefully placing his five sons in key positions. They set up banks in Frankfurt, Vienna, London, Naples, and Paris. By the mid 1800’s they dominated the banking industry, lending to governments around the world and people such as the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, and Cecil Rhodes.
1745 There was a gradual move toward the issuance of fixed denomination notes in England standardized printed notes ranging from £20 to £1,000 were being printed.
1748 First recorded use of the word buck for a dollar, stemming from the Colonial period in America when buck skins were commonly traded
1757 Colonial Scrip Issued in US
1760s Mayer Amschel Rothschild establishes his banking business
1769 First steam powered car
1775-1938 US Diplomatic Codes & Ciphers by Ralph E Weber used – problems were security and distribution
1776 American Independence
1776 Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand theory helped bankers and money-lenders limit government interference in the banking sector
1781 The Bank of North America was a private bank first adopted created the US Nation's first de facto central bank. When shares in the bank were sold to the public, the Bank of North America became the country's first initial public offering. It lasted less than ten years.
1783 First steamboat
1791 Congress Creates the First US Bank – A Private Company, Partly Owned by Foreigners – to Handle the Financial Needs of the New Central Government. First Bank of the United States, a National bank, chartered for a term of twenty years, it was not renewed in 1811.
Previously, the 13 states had their own banks, currencies and financial institutions, which had an average lifespan of about 5 years.
1792 First optical telegraph invented where towers with telescopes were dispersed across France 12-25 km apart, relaying signals according to positions of arms extended from the top of the towers.
1795 Thomas Jefferson invents the Jefferson Disk Cipher or Wheel Cipher
1797 to 1821 Restriction Period by England of trading banknotes for silver during Napoleonic Wars
1797 Currency Crisis
Although the Bank was originally a private institution, by the end of the 18th century it was increasingly being regarded as a public authority with civic responsibility toward the upkeep of a healthy financial system.
1799 First paper machine
1800 Banque de France – France’s central bank opens to try to improve financing of the war
1800 Invention of the battery
1801 Rotchschild Dynasty begins in Frankfurt, Holy Roman Empire – established international banking family through his 5 sons who established themselves in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Naples
1804 Steam locomotive
1807 Internal combustion engine and automobile
1807 Robert Fulton expands water transportation and trade with the workable steamboat.
1811 First powered printing press, also first to use a cylinder
1816 The Privately Owned Second Bank of the US was Chartered – It Served as the Main Depository for Government Revenue, Making it a Highly Profitable Bank – charter not renewed in 1836
1816 The first working telegraph was built using static electricity
1816 Gold becomes the official standard of value in England
1820 Industrial Revolution
c1820 Neoclassical Economics
1821 British gov introduces the gold standard - With governments issuing the bank notes, the inherent danger is no longer bankruptcy but inflation.
1822 Charles Babbage, considered the "father of the computer", begins building the first programmable mechanical computer.
1832 Andrew Jackson Campaigns Against the 2nd Bank of the US and Vetoes Bank Charter Renewal
Andrew Jackson was skeptical of the central banking system and believed it gave too few men too much power and caused inflation. He was also a proponent of gold and silver and an outspoken opponent of the 2nd National Bank. The Charter expired in 1836.
1833 President Jackson Issues Executive Order to Stop Depositing Government Funds Into Bank of US
By September 1833, government funds were being deposited into state chartered banks.
1833-1837 Manufactured “boom” created by central bankers – money supply Increases 84%, Spurred by the 2nd Bank of the US
The total money supply rose from $150 million to $267 million
1835 Jackson Escapes Assassination. Assassin misfired twice.
1837-1862 The “Free Banking Era” there was no formal central bank in the US, and banks issued their own notes again
1838 First Telegram sent using Morse Code across 3 km, in 1844 he sent a message across 71 km from Washington DC to Baltimore.
1843 Ada Lovelace published the first algorithm for computing
1844 Modern central bank of England established - meaning only the central bank of England could issue banknotes – prior to that commercial banks could issue their own and were the primary form of currency throughout England
the Bank of England was restricted to issue new banknotes only if they were 100% backed by gold or up to £14 million in government debt.
1848 Communist Manifesto
1850 The first undersea telegraphic communications cable connected France in England after latex produced from the sap of the Palaquium gutta tree in 1845 was proposed as insulation for the underwater cables.
1852 Many countries in Europe build telegram networks, however post remained the primary means of communication to distant countries.
1855 In England fully printed notes that did not require the name of the payee and the cashier's signature first appeared
1855 The printing telegraph made it possible for a machine with 26 alphabetic keys to print the messages automatically and was soon adopted worldwide.
1856 Belgian engineer Charles Bourseul proposed telephony
1856 The Atlantic Telegraph company was formed in London to stretch a commercial telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean, completed in 1866.
1860 The Pony Express was founded, able to deliver mail of wealthy individuals or government officials from coast to coast in 10 days.
1861 The East coast was connected to the West when Western Union completed the transcontinental telegraph line, putting an end to unprofitable The Pony Express.
1862-1863 First US banknotes - Lincoln Over Rules Debt-Based Money and Issues Greenbacks to Fund Civil War
Bankers would only lend the government money under certain conditions and at high interest rates, so Lincoln issued his own currency – “greenbacks” – through the US Treasury, and made them legal tender. His soldiers went on to win the war, followed by great economic expansion.
1863 to 1932 “National Banking Era” Commercial banks in the United States had legally issued banknotes before there was a national currency; however, these became subject to government authorization from 1863 to 1932
1864 Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen founded the first rural credit union in Heddesdorf (now part of Neuwied) in Germany. By the time of Raiffeisen's death in 1888, credit unions had spread to Italy, France, the Netherlands, England, Austria, and other nations
1870 Long-distance telegraph lines connected Britain and India.
c1871 Marginalism - The doctrines of marginalism and the Marginal Revolution are often interpreted as a response to the rise of the worker's movement, Marxian economics and the earlier (Ricardian) socialist theories of the exploitation of labour.
1871 Carl Menger’s Principles of Economics – Austrian School
1872 Marx’s Das Capital
1872 Australia becomes the first nation to be connected to the rest of the world via submarine telegraph cables.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone, first called the electric speech machine – revolutionized communication
1877 Thomas Edison – Phonograph
1878 Western Union, the leading telegraph provider of the U.S., begins to lose out to the telephone technology of the National Bell Telephone Company.
1881 President James Garfield, Staunch Proponent of “Honest Money” Backed by Gold and Silver, was Assassinated
Garfield opposed fiat currency (money that was not backed by any physical object). He had the second shortest Presidency in history.
1882 First description of the one-time pad
1886 First gas powered car
1888 Ballpoint pen
1895 System of wireless communication using radio waves
1896 First successful intercontinental telegram
1899 Nickel-cadmium battery
1907 Banking Panic of 1907
The New York Stock Exchange dropped dramatically as everyone tried to get their money out of the banks at the same time across the nation. This banking panic spurred debate for banking reform. JP Morgan and others gathered to create an image of concern and stability in the face of the panic, which eventually led to the formation of the Federal Reserve. The founders of the Federal Reserve pretended like the bankers were opposed to the idea of its formation in order to mislead the public into believing that the Federal Reserve would help to regulate bankers when in fact it really gave even more power to private bankers, but in a less transparent way.
1908 St Mary’s Bank – first credit union in US
1908 JP Morgan Associate and Rockefeller Relative Nelson Aldrich Heads New National Monetary Commission
Senate Republican leader, Nelson Aldrich, heads the new National Monetary Commission that was created to study the cause of the banking panic. Aldrich had close ties with J.P. Morgan and his daughter married John D. Rockefeller.
1910 Bankers Meet Secretly on Jekyll Island to Draft Federal Reserve Banking Legislation
Over the course of a week, some of the nation’s most powerful bankers met secretly off the coast of Georgia, drafting a proposal for a private Central Banking system.
1913 Federal Reserve Act Passed
Two days before Christmas, while many members of Congress were away on vacation, the Federal Reserve Act was passed, creating the Central banking system we have today, originally with gold backed Federal Reserve Notes. It was based on the Aldrich plan drafted on Jekyll Island and gave private bankers supreme authority over the economy. They are now able to create money out of nothing (and loan it out at interest), make decisions without government approval, and control the amount of money in circulation.
1913 Income tax established -16th Amendment Ratified
Taxes ensured that citizens would cover the payment of debt due to the Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, which was also created in 1913.The 16th Amendment stated: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
1914 November, Federal Reserve Banks Open
JP Morgan and Co. Profits from Financing both sides of War and Purchasing Weapons
J.P. Morgan and Co. made a deal with the Bank of England to give them a monopoly on underwriting war bonds for the UK and France. They also invested in the suppliers of war equipment to Britain and France.
1917 Teletype cipher
1917 The one-time pad
1917 Zimmerman Telegram intercepted and decoded by Room 40, the cryptanalysis department of the British Military during WWI.
1918 GB returns to gold standard post-war but it didn’t work out
1919 First rotor machine, an electro-mechanical stream ciphering and decrypting machine.
1919 Founding of The Cipher Bureau, Poland’s intelligence and cryptography agency.
1919-1929 The Black Chamber, a forerunner of the NSA, was the first U.S. cryptanalytic organization. Worked with the telegraph company Western Union to illegally acquire foreign communications of foreign embassies and representatives. It was shut down in 1929 as funding was removed after it was deemed unethical to intercept private domestic radio signals.
1920s Department stores, hotel chains and service staions begin offering customers charge cards
1921-1929 The “Roaring 20’s” – The Federal Reserve Floods the Economy with Cash and Credit
From 1921 to 1929 the Federal Reserve increased the money supply by $28 billion, almost a 62% increase over an eight-year period. This artificially created another “boom”.
1927 Quartz clock
1928 First experimental Television broadcast in the US.
1929 Federal Reserve Contracts the Money Supply
In 1929, the Federal Reserve began to pull money out of circulation as loans were paid back. They created a “bust” which was inevitable after issuing so much credit in the years before. The Federal Reserve’s actions triggered the banking crisis, which led to the Great Depression.
1929 October 24, “Black Thursday”, Stock Market Crash
The most devastating stock market crash in history. Billions of dollars in value were consolidated into the private banker’s hands at the expense of everyone else.
1930s The Great Depression marked the end of the gold standard
1931 German Enigma machines attained and reconstructed.
1932 Turbo jet engine patented
1933 SEC founded - passed the Glass–Steagall Act, which separated investment banking and commercial banking. This was to avoid more risky investment banking activities from ever again causing commercial bank failures.
1933 FM Radio
1933 Germany begins Telex, a network of teleprinters sending and receiving text based messages. Post WWII Telex networks began to spread around the world.
1936 Austrian engineer Paul Eisler invented Printed circuit board
1936 Beginning of the Keynesian Revolution
1937 Typex, British encryption machines which were upgraded versions of Enigma machines.
1927 Founding of highly secret and unofficial Signal Intelligence Service, SIS, the U.S. Army’s codebreaking division.
1937 Made illegal for Americans to own gold
1938 Z1 built by Konrad Zuse is the first freely programmable computer in the world.
1939 WWII – decline of the gold standard which greatly restricted policy making
1939-45 Codetalkers - The Navajo code is the only spoken military code never to have been deciphered - "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima."—Howard Connor
1942 Deciphering Japanese coded messages leads to a turning point victory for the U.S. in WWII.
1943 At Bletchley Park, Alan Turing and team build a specialized cipher-breaking machine called Heath Robinson.
1943 Colossus computer built in London to crack the German Lorenz cipher.
1944 Bretton Woods – convenient after the US had most of the gold
1945 Manhattan Project – Atom Bomb
1945 Transatlantic telephone cable
1945 Claude E. Shannon published "A mathematical theory of cryptography", commonly accepted as the starting point for development of modern cryptography.
C1946 Crypto Wars begin and last to this day
1946 Charg-it card created by John C Biggins
1948 Atomic clock
1948 Claude Shannon writes a paper that establishes the mathematical basis of information theory
1949 Info theorist Claude Shannon asks “What does an ideal cipher look like?” – one time pad – what if the keys are not truly random
1950 First credit card released by the Diners Club, able to be used in 20 restaurants in NYC
1951 NSA, National Security Agency founded and creates the KL-7, an off-line rotor encryption machine
1952 First thermonuclear weapon
1953 First videotape recorder
1953 Term “Hash” first used meaning to “chop” or “make a mess” out of something
1954 Atomic Energy Act (no mention of crypto)
1957 The NSA begins producing ROMOLUS encryption machines, soon to be used by NATO
1957 First PC – IBM
1957 First Satellite – Sputnik 1
1958 Western Union begins building a nationwide Telex network in the U.S.
1960s Machine readable codes were added to the bottom of cheques in MICR format, which speeded up the clearing and sorting process
1960s Financial organizations were beginning to require strong commercial encryption on the rapidly growing field of wired money transfer.
1961 Electronic clock
1963 June 4, Kennedy Issued an Executive Order (11110) that Authorized the US Treasury to Issue Silver Certificates, Threatening the Federal Reserve’s Monopoly on Money
This government issued currency would bypass the governments need to borrow from bankers at interest.
1963 Electronic calculator
1963 Nov. 22, Kennedy Assassinated
1963 Johnson Reverses Kennedy’s Banking Rule and Restores Power to the Federal Reserve
1964 LAN, Local Area Networks adapters
1965 Moore’s Law by CEO of Intel Gordon Moore observes that the number of components per integrated circuit doubles every year, and projected this rate of growth would continue for at least another decade. In 1975 he revised it to every two years.
1967 First ATM installed at Barclay’s Bank in London
1968 Cassette Player introduced
1969 First connections of ARPANET, predecessor of the internet, are made. started – SF, SB, UCLA, Utah (now Darpa) – made to stay ahead of the Soviets – there were other networks being built around the world but it was very hard to connect them – CERN in Europe
1970s Stagflation – unemployment + inflation, which Keynesian theory could not explain
1970s Business/commercial applications for Crypto emerge – prior to this time it was militarily used – ATMs 1st got people thinking about commercial applications of cryptography – data being sent over telephone lines
1970s The public developments of the 1970s broke the near monopoly on high quality cryptography held by government organizations.
Use of checks increased in 70s – bringing about ACH
One way functions...
A few companies began selling access to private networks – but weren’t allowed to connect to the internet – business and universities using Arpanet had no commercial traffic – internet was used for research, not for commerce or advertising
1970 Railroads threatened by the growing popularity of air travel. Penn Central Railroad declares bankruptcy resulting in a $3.2 billion bailout
1970 Conjugate coding used in an attempt to design “money physically impossible to counterfeit”
1971 The US officially removes the gold standard
1971 Email invented
1971 First microcomputer on a chip
1971 Lockheed Bailout - $1.4 billion – Lockheed was a major government defense contractor
1972 First programmable word processor
1972 First video game console
1973 SWIFT established
1973 Ethernet invented, standardized in ‘83
1973 Mobile phone
1973 First commercial GUI – Xerox Alto
1973 First touchscreen
1973 Emails made up more than ¾ of ARPANET’s packets – people had to keep a map of the network by their desk – so DNS was created
1974 A protocol for packet network intercommunication – TCP/IP – Cerf and Kahn
1974 Franklin National Bank Bailout - $1.5 billion (valued at that time) - At the time, it was the largest bank failure in US history
1975 New York City Bailout - $9.4 billion – NYC was overextended
1975 W DES - meant that commercial uses of high quality encryption would become common, and serious problems of export control began to arise.
1975 DES, Data Encryption Standard developed at IBM, seeking to develop secure electronic communications for banks and large financial organizations. DES was the first publicly accessible cipher to be 'blessed' by a national agency such as the NSA. Its release stimulated an explosion of public and academic interest in cryptography.
1975 Digital camera
1975 Altair 8800 sparks the microprocessor revolution
1976 Bretton Woods ratified (lasted 30 years) – by 80’s all nations were using floating currencies
1976 New Directions in Cryptography published by Diffie & Hellman – this terrified Fort Meade – previously this technique was classified, now it’s public
1976 Apple I Computer – Steve Wozniak
1976 Asymmetric key cryptosystem published by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman.
1976 Hellman and Diffie publish New Directions in Cryptography, introducing a radically new method of distributing cryptographic keys, contributing much to solving key distribution one of the fundamental problems of cryptography. It brought about the almost immediate public development of asymmetric key algorithms. - where people can have 2 sets of keys, public and private
1977 Diffie & Hellman receive letter from NSA employee JA Meyer that they’re violating Federal Laws comparable to arms export – this raises the question, “Can the gov prevent academics from publishing on crypto?
1977 DES considered insecure
1977 First handheld electronic game
1977 RSA public key encryption invented
1978 McEliece Cryptosystem invented, first asymmetric encryption algorithm to use randomization in the encryption process
1980s Large data centers began being built to store files and give users a better faster experience – companies rented space from them - Data centers would not only store data but scour it to show people what they might want to see and in some cases, sell data
1980s Reaganomics and Thatcherism
1980 A decade of intense bank failures begins; the FDIC reports that 1,600 were either closed or received financial assistance from 1980 to 1994
1980 Chrysler Bailout – lost over $1 billion due to major hubris on the part of its executives - $1.5 billion one of the largest payouts ever made to a single corporation.
1980 Protocols for public key cryptosystems – Ralph Merkle
1980 Flash memory invented – public in ‘84
1981 “Untraceable Electronic Mail, Return Addresses and Digital Pseudonumns” – Chaum
1981 EFTPOS, Electronic funds transfer at point of sale is created
1981 IBM Personal Computer
1982 “The Ethics of Liberty” Murray Rothbard
1982 Commodore 64
1983 Satellite TV
1983 First built in hard drive
1983 Blind signatures for untraceable payments
Mid 1980s Use of ATMs becomes more widespread
1984 Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust bailed out due to overly aggressive lending styles and - the bank’s downfall could be directly traced to risk taking and a lack of due diligence on the part of bank officers - $9.5 billion in 2008 money
1984 Macintosh Computer - the first mass-market personal computer that featured a graphical user interface, built-in screen and mouse
1984 CD Rom
1985 Zero-Knowledge Proofs first proposed
1985 300,000 simultaneous telephone conversations over single optical fiber
1985 Elliptic Curve Cryptography
1987 ARPANET had connected over 20k guarded computers by this time
1988 First private networks email servers connected to NSFNET
1988 The Crypto Anarchists Manifesto – Timothy C May
1988 ISDN, Integrated Services Digital Network
1989 Savings & Loan Bailout - After the widespread failure of savings and loan institutions, President George H. W. Bush signed and Congress enacted the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act - This was a taxpayer bailout of about $200 billion
1989 First commercial emails sent
1989 Digicash - Chaum
1989 Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau built the prototype system which became the World Wide Web, WWW
1989 First ISPs – companies with no network of their own which connected people to a local network and to the internet - To connect to a network your computer placed a phone call through a modem which translated analog signals to digital signals – dial-up was used to connect computers as phone lines already had an extensive network across the U.S. – but phone lines weren’t designed for high pitched sounds that could change fast to transmit large amounts of data
1990s Cryptowars really heat up...
1990s Some countries started to change their laws to allow "truncation"
1990s Encryption export controls became a matter of public concern with the introduction of the personal computer. Phil Zimmermann's PGP cryptosystem and its distribution on the Internet in 1991 was the first major 'individual level' challenge to controls on export of cryptography. The growth of electronic commerce in the 1990s created additional pressure for reduced restrictions. Shortly afterward, Netscape's SSL technology was widely adopted as a method for protecting credit card transactions using public key cryptography.
1990 NSFNET replaced Arpanet as backbone of the internet with more than 500k users
Early 90s Dial up provided through AOL and Compuserve
People were leery to use credit cards on the internet
1991 How to time-stamp a digital doc - Stornetta
1991 Phil Zimmermann releases the public key encryption program Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) along with its source code, which quickly appears on the Internet. He distributed a freeware version of PGP when he felt threatened by legislation then under consideration by the US Government that would require backdoors to be included in all cryptographic products developed within the US. Expanded the market to include anyone wanting to use cryptography on a personal computer (before only military, governments, large corporations)
1991 WWW (Tim Berners Lee) – made public in ‘93 – flatten the “tree” structure of the internet using hypertext – reason for HTTP//:WWW – LATER HTTPS for more security
1992 Erwise – first Internet Browser w a graphical Interface
1992 Congress passed a law allowing for commercial traffic on NSFNET
1992 Cpherpunks, Eric Hughes, Tim C May and John Gilmore – online privacy and safety from gov – cypherpunks write code so it can be spread and not shut down (in my earlier chapter)
1993 Mosaic – popularized surfing the web ‘til Netscape Navigator in ’94 – whose code was later used in Firefox
1993 A Cypherpunks Manifesto – Eric Hughes
1994 World’s first online cyberbank, First Virtual, opened for business
1994 First DVD player
1994 Stanford Federal Credit Union becomes the first financial institution to offer online internet banking services to all of its members in October 1994
1994 Internet only used by a few
1994 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocol released by Netscape. Making financial transactions possible.
1994 One of the first online purchases was made, a Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese
1994 Cyphernomicon published – social implication where gov can’t do anything about it
1994-1999 Social Networking – GeoCities (combining creators and users) – had 19M users by ’99 – 3rd most popular after AOL and Yahoo – GeoCities purchased by Yahoo for $3.6B but took a hit after dotcom bubble popped and never recovered – GC shut down in ‘99
1995-2000 Dotcom bubble – Google, Amazon, Facebook: get over 600M visitors/year
1995 MP3 term coined for MP3 files, the earlier development of which stretches back into the ‘70s, where MP files themselves where developed throughout the ‘90s
1995 NSFNET shut down and handed everything over to the ISPs
1995 NSA publishes the SHA1 hash algorithm as part of its Digital Signature Standard.
1996, 2000 President Bill Clinton signing the Executive order 13026 transferring the commercial encryption from the Munition List to the Commerce Control List. This order permitted the United States Department of Commerce to implement rules that greatly simplified the export of proprietary and open source software containing cryptography, which they did in 2000 - The successful cracking of DES likely helped gather both political and technical support for more advanced encryption in the hands of ordinary citizens - NSA considers AES strong enough to protect information classified at the Top Secret level
1997 WAP, Wireless Access Point
1997 NSA researchers published how to mint e cash
1997 Adam Back – HashCash – used PoW – coins could only be used once
1997 Nick Szabo – smart contracts “Formalizing and Securing Relationships on Public Networks”
1998 OSS, Open-source software Initiative Founded
1998 Wei Dai – B-money – decentralized database to record txs
1998 First backdoor created by hackers from Cult of the Dead Cow
1998 Musk and Thiel founded PayPal
1998 Nick Szabo says crypto can protect land titles even if thugs take it by force – said it could be done with a timestamped database
1999 Much of the Glass-Steagal Act repealed - this saw US retail banks embark on big rounds of mergers and acquisitions and also engage in investment banking activities.
1999 Milton Friedman says, “I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that's missing, but that will soon be developed, is a reliable e-cash - a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A.”
1999 European banks began offering mobile banking with the first smartphones
1999 The Financial Services Modernization Act Allows Banks to Grow Even Larger
Many economists and politicians have recognized that this legislation played a key part in the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007.
1999-2001 Napster, P2P file sharing – was one of the fastest growing businesses in history – bankrupt for paying musicians for copyright infringement
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