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The most influential headlines of 2015; in case you missed it

2015 was a real comeback year for bitcoin. Here's a look back at all of the most important stories that happened in 2015.

2015 started off slowly for bitcoiners after the price took a sustained and painful beating during the previous year. Things quickly turned around at the start of this year and bitcoin went from the world’s worst-performing currency in 2014 to the best-performing one this year.

The most prevalent trend was the seemingly endless parade of big banks, financial institutions, think-tanks, and even governments that announced their appreciation for the blockchain while simultaneously discounting bitcoin. Although there are very few people that would claim that Bitcoin ‘went mainstream’ in 2014, it would be an understatement to make that same claim of the blockchain.


A few record Venture Capital fundraising rounds in January set a new pace, especially the all-time second largest deal for US$75 Million to Coinbase.


The popular privacy operating system endorsed by Edward Snowden, Tails, got it’s own Electrum wallet built in.

  • Nakamoto’s opens in San Francisco, the first retail store all about bitcoin.
  • World’s largest Multiplay Online videogame, Runescape, starts accepting bitcoin for memberships and in-game purchases.
  • Satoshi Roundtable retreat held in Punta Cana, DR for Bitcoin executives and planners.
  • Dell becomes the largest company to accept bitcoin payments.


21 Inc. smashes all VC fundraising records with an incredible US$116 million funding round, bringing their total to $121m, for their Bitcoin hardware company aimed at embedding bitcoin mining chips into devices and appliances for the Internet of Things.

  • Xapo and BitWage partner to release first international bitcoin payroll debit card.
  • Former JP Morgan executive and inventor of the Credit Default Swap Blythe Masters joins blockchain startup, Digital Asset Holdings.
  • Andreas M. Antonopoulos testifies for bitcoin in front of the Australian Senate on TV.
  • ShapeShift reveals owner Erik Voorhees when receiving US$525k in funding.


Xapo announces the world’s largest integration with a social networking site, South American giant Taringa! bringing bitcoin tipping and even paid posting (in bitcoin) to its 27 Million Spanish speaking users.

  • Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten launches a Bitcoin payments and Multi-Sig portal, available for shoppers there and in the US market too.
  • President Obama threatens Ed Snowden’s funding channel with cybersecurity bill and sends Snowden’s Bitcoin donations soaring.
  • Swiss megabank UBS opens blockchain research lab in London.
  • MIT’s Media Lab announces an ongoing Digital Currencies initiative. Bitcoin speakers including Gavin Andresen have been to present at it ever since.
  • The City of London comes out in favor of Bitcoin during a big financial tech initiative, proposing light-handed regulations. London has been a safe haven for bitcoin companies ever since.


Samourai wallet launched, instantly becomes the most privacy-minded wallet in bitcoin.

  • Rand Paul becomes the first US Presidential Candidate to accept bitcoin donations.
  • Honduras and Factom announce their Land Title Registry project for the bitcoin blockchain. (It has since stalled.)
  • Richard Branson reportedly co-hosts a private retreat on his Necker Island for Bitcoin executives to plan and network.
  • Nathaniel Popper’s popular new book about Bitcoin, “Digital Gold” was released  to record sales.
  • The New York Stock Exchange releases it’s Bitcoin index.


The long-awaited, open source marketplace OpenBazaar receives US$1m in funding so the developers can work on the project full-time. By year’s end, the same developers appear to be 99% finished, with the first rough product available to Linux users.

  • New York’s department of Financial Services announced their completed bill for the long-dreaded Bitlicense, opening up applications. It eventually passed into law in August.
  • Blockstream releases open source code for Sidechain Elements.
  • takes matters into their own hands and stress-tests the bitcoin network by spending thousands of dollars on tiny transactions and sending through the system as quickly as possible. This series of events set the stage for the upcoming block size debate.
  • Nasdaq partners with Chain inc., to power the exchanges’ private market with Blockchain technology. Soon Chain would receive over US$30m in funding, too.
  • Greek currency woes cause customers from all over the world to rush into bitcoin, says exchanges. KimDotCom Tweets: “It is likely that a #Greece bankruptcy will trigger a market crash. My advice: Buy #Bitcoin & #Gold Both will rise when the markets crash.”


The world’s second largest classified ads site, Backpage, goes Bitcoin-only after losing credit card processing in a prostitution sting.

  • Bitcoin’s price has its first considerable rise for several months in response to the Greek crisis. Nasdaq even wonders if bitcoin is “the new safe haven” while discussing bitcoin’s price rise.
  • Citibank reveals that it is working on Citicoin, for the purpose of cross-border exchange.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awards Kenyan bitcoin startup BitSoko a US$100,000 grant.
  • The Mike Tyson bitcoin ATM line announced.


As the state of New York’s Bitlicense regulation is fully implemented, we saw a mass exodus of Bitcoin service businesses from the state, leaving only the largest few on Wall Street doing business in NY anymore.

  • The Commonwealth of Nations urges its 53 member nations to look into and regulate digital currencies, including bitcoin.
  • Australian Senate committee declares that bitcoin is a “regular currency.”
  • Patrick Byrne of Overstock unveils his plans to launch the T0 stock exchange.
  • Two of the big four accounting firms, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, each release a white paper to their vast client bases detailing uses for the blockchain in glowing terms.
  • Industry leaders from at least eight bitcoin service companies sign a pledge to support bigger block sizes and BIP101 by December.


The Oxford dictionary adds the terms “Cryptocurrency” and “Blockchain” to it’s listing, two years after adding “Bitcoin.” All major dictionaries except one include words describing bitcoin.

  • Super-slick remittance app Abra raised a total of US$14m in funding and announced the upcoming launch of their international money marketplace.
  • R3 CEV announces their launch along with nine partner banks to join in their shared-blockchain consortium. By the end of the year that number has risen to 42 banks, encompassing almost all of the top 20 largest banks on Earth.
  • The entire FinTech world was abuzz with talk and questions about what the new 21 Inc.  Bitcoin Computer could do at its unveiling. Immediately they went on sale for $400 and have been popular with developers ever since.
  • The Mike Tyson line of ATMs is officially launched.
  • The US Commodities Futures and Trading Commission declares Bitcoin a Commodity.


The first Bitcoin-focused movie to go to the cinemas was the well received "Dope" from Lionsgate, and started accepting bitcoin for theaters across the nation at the same time.

  • The UK government commits 10 million pounds to researching the blockchain.
  • The Winklevoss twins’ long-awaited Gemini exchange is approved by the SEC for launch and opens for business.
  • The finance world’s most respected magazine, the Economist, puts a giant Bitcoin on their cover and sings bitcoin’s praises in not one, but two excellent stories. Their renaming of the blockchain “the trust machine” catches on in media worldwide.
  • Project Rootstock is announced, claiming to do everything Ethereum can do but on the bitcoin blockchain.
  • Many top bitcoin companies controversially join into the Blockchain Alliance with several US federal agencies.
  • The EU’s top court declares bitcoin VAT-free.


Unicode officially issues Bitcoin it’s own currency symbol and the W3C announces plans to include bitcoin payments in upcoming HTML standards.


Bitcoin charities and talk of governments coming to appreciate the blockchain have been ever-present in December. While the Charities Aid Foundation issues a report singing the praises of the blockchain to charities around the globe, the SEC spills plans to issue company stock on the blockchain, According to’s Patrick Byrne.

  • Microsoft’s Azure cloud service starts offering Blockchains from multiple blockchain developers and vendors.
  • At the developer’s conference Scaling Bitcoin, in Hong Kong, lots of tension was in the air over the block size debate until Dr. Pieter Wuilee put forward a temporary fix called Segregated Witness that helped calm the developer community down quite a bit.
  • Visa admits that Blockchain "is no longer a choice anymore" for payment networks.
  • We’re having a month of big milestones in December. “Merry Christmas,” says the blockchain, as miners uncover the 15 Millionth bitcoin (out of a total of 21 million) on Christmas eve, just before it also surpasses Bitcoin’s 1 Billionth transaction on Christmas morning.


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