Why it matters: Bitcoin's rise from irrelevance to the world's leading cryptocurrency and the influence it has had on finance and security (blockchain tech) is nothing short of miraculous. A decade is an eternity in tech time and the fact that is still around (and worth quite a bit) is very telling.

A mysterious figure by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain – the genesis block – on January 3, 2009. On Thursday, the tumultuous cryptocurrency celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Driven by a desire to create a decentralized currency, Bitcoin somehow managed to skirt irrelevancy and overcome volatility, ties to criminal activity, theft, fraud and more.

In its early days, Bitcoin was little more than a novelty among computer enthusiasts. Case in point – the first known commercial transaction took place in 2010 when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizzas. Hanyecz probably thought he was getting a great deal back then; little did he know, those coins would be worth more than $37 million today.

Bitcoin didn’t gain mainstream notoriety until around 2013 when its value topped $1,000 for the first time. Those gains were short-lived, however, as its value would drop by roughly 80 percent over the coming years before an incredible rally in late 2017 that pushed prices to nearly $18,000 per coin.

Values have again fallen – currently trading around $3,745 per – but if history has taught us anything, it’s that Bitcoin is highly unpredictable. A guess with regard to its future is simply that.