Blockchain.com, initially known as Blockchain.info, was established by Ben Reeves in 2011. It started as a block explorer, a platform that allowed users to track Bitcoin transactions. During its early days, the primary purpose of the platform was to offer transparency and accessibility to Bitcoin’s blockchain by enabling individuals to see the details of public cryptocurrency transactions provided they had the identifying hash code for the transaction.
In the journey to broaden the platform’s scope, Ben Reeves initially collaborated with Brian Armstrong, the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, in early 2012. They aimed to create a payment platform for Bitcoin that allowed users to maintain a digital wallet, exchange other currencies for Bitcoin for a percentage fee, and make Bitcoin payments. However, due to a difference in opinions regarding user control over Bitcoin information, the duo parted ways before they could attend Y Combinator’s summer class. Ben Reeves wanted a platform where users had complete control over their Bitcoin information, while Brian Armstrong believed that the platform should retain custody of the users’ wallets. After parting ways with Armstrong, Reeves continued to work on Blockchain.info.
By 2014, Blockchain.com had become a popular Bitcoin wallet led by Nicolas Cary as CEO. The platform grew its user base significantly from 100,000 wallet users in early 2013 to 1.5 million users by April 2014. During this period, Blockchain.com acquired two companies, ZeroBlock in 2013, and RTBTC in early 2014, through which it added data analytics services, consolidating these services under one platform. This consolidation resulted in a platform offering a cryptocurrency wallet, pricing and analytics, and a cryptocurrency explorer. In February 2014, a notable incident occurred when Apple Inc. removed the Blockchain.com app from the iOS App Store, which was later reinstated in July 2014 following a public outcry in the Bitcoin community.
During 2014, Peter Smith joined Ben Reeves and Nicolas Cary on the founding team as its CEO. The trio operated from Reeves’ flat in York and formally established the company when Bitcoin investor Roger Ver provided initial funding. By October 2014, the platform had amassed 2.3 million consumer wallets and raised .5 million in its first external fundraising round, marking the largest round of financing in the digital currency sector at that time. This growth and funding marked significant milestones in the establishment and growth of Blockchain.com.
Transitioning Beyond Block Exploration
As the years rolled on, Blockchain.com evolved, transcending its original guise as just a block explorer. A significant hallmark in this evolution was the unveiling of the Blockchain.com Wallet. This addition provided a secure and user-friendly milieu for individuals to manage their cryptocurrency holdings. Presently, the Blockchain.com Account and DeFi Wallet offer a consolidated platform where users can buy, sell, swap, and store their cryptocurrencies with ease.
Diversifying into New Horizons
Blockchain.com didn’t halt at wallet services; it ambitiously forayed into various other domains. The introduction of Rewards Accounts, Decentralized Applications (DApps), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and an extended list of asset offerings marked a new era of diversification. Each new feature enriched the platform’s ecosystem, creating a more holistic experience for its users. This phase of expansion showcased Blockchain.com’s zeal to stay in sync with the dynamic crypto space, offering a plethora of services under one roof.
Blockchain.com: Resilience in the Face of Adversity
The journey wasn’t always smooth. The cryptocurrency market, with its inherent volatility, posed numerous challenges. However, it was during such tumultuous times that the resilience and innovative essence of Blockchain.com shone brightly. A recent letter from the CEO, Peter Smith, highlighted the team’s undeterred commitment to building and improving, even amidst market uncertainties. This staunch dedication underscores Blockchain.com’s long-term vision and its unwavering position in the crypto industry.
Today and Beyond: Envisioning the Future
Today, as Blockchain.com commemorates its 12th year, it stands as a multifaceted platform with a burgeoning user base that spans the globe. It’s not merely a platform but a global entity that continues to play a pivotal role in enhancing accessibility to the crypto-verse for everyone. The future holds immense promise as Blockchain.com continues to be a driving force in promoting the adoption and evolution of blockchain technology.