The Story of the Bitcoin Faucet
In 2019, ten years after its invention, bitcoin is the buzzword of the internet; a digital phenomenon that excites the tech-savvy and intrigues the layman. But it wasn’t always this popular – some would say it really reached its peak popularity near the end of 2017, when bitcoin price skyrocketed to an unprecedented $20,000. But back in its early days, bitcoin was an unknown quantity, a technological marvel hidden in the depths of the internet.
In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto created a form of currency that was completely decentralized, devoid of a central authority, run by a dedicated network of crypto enthusiasts. The cryptocurrency community was nascent, and bitcoin was a long way away from where it is today. There were no marketplaces, exchanges, or escrow services, and acquiring BTC was a task. You could mine them or persuade someone who held BTC to sell to you, but bitcoin had little-to-no-use at the time.
Enter Gavin Andresen - The Man Who Really Built Bitcoin
Satoshi is hailed as the mastermind behind bitcoin, but Gavin Andresen is the man who really made bitcoin into what it is today. Chosen as the successor to Nakamoto, he was the chief developer of the open source code that defined the rules of the bitcoin network, also developing the software needed to use BTC.
But his first-ever bitcoin coding project was something that would seem supremely ridiculous in 2019 – a faucet website that gave away 5 BTC to every visitor. At the time, when obtaining BTC and promoting it to the masses was a challenge, this idea wasn’t as ridiculous – BTC was near-worthless and needed a push.
The Bitcoin Faucet
In 2010, Gavin Andresen came up with a novel idea called ‘The Bitcoin Faucet.’ All a visitor to the website had to do was complete a captcha and get 5 BTC. The thinking behind this project was that the only way to turn bitcoin from a small idea and community into a worldwide phenomenon was to ensure the cryptocurrency reached a wide audience that could make use of it.
And it worked.
Since its inception to its closure in 2012, more than 19,700 BTC were disbursed among the website’s visitors, and the currency was slowly gaining traction with the first-ever price spike in its history.
Satoshi had this to say of Gavin’s project, “Excellent choice of a first project, nice work. I had planned to do this exact thing if someone else didn’t do it, so when it gets too hard for mortals to generate 50BTC, new users could get some coins to play with right away.”
Andresen’s faucet gave way to a number of free bitcoin faucets such as FreeBitco.in, Cointiply, and Faucethub which further fueled the growth of websites that accepted payments in bitcoin. All in all, The Bitcoin Faucet played a huge part in making bitcoin what it is today, and Gavin is the man who really built bitcoin.