Blog: Scammerwatch
by MatthewGabriel

Cryptocurrency: history of the term

bitcoin,crypto,education on cryptocurrency

Date:   2/7/2022 8:41:00 AM   ( 6 mon ) ... viewed 131 times

The term 'cryptocurrency' has become commonplace and even popular recently. But how and when did it first appear?
Earlier Tradecrypto wrote that the first mention of the phrase "cryptocurrency" in the media was in an article by Andy Greenberg, which was called "Crypto Currency". The article was published on 20 April 2011 on the Forbes website.
Before the term 'cryptocurrency' was coined, other terms were used:

  • "electronic money & electronic currency". The term, for example, was used by Neal Stephenson in his 1999 novel Cryptonomicon.
  • "Digital currency" (digital currency & digital gold currency).
  • "Electronic cash" was the name given to Bitcoin by its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • The same term was used in an article by the Cryptologic Division of the Information Security Research and Technology Directorate at the US NSA entitled "How to Make a Mint: the Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash" published on 18 June 1996, describing a system in which secure financial transactions could be made through a decentralised network.

First appearance on wikipedia

The article "Cryptocurrency" first appeared on Wikipedia in the Russian-language section on 19 June 2013.
Two days later, on 21 June 2013, a similar Cryptocurrency article appeared in the English-language version of Wikipedia.
The German Wikipedia article Kryptowährung (cryptocurrency) did not appear until 15 January 2014, the French Wikipedia article Cryptomonnaie appeared on 14 February 2014, and the Spanish Wikipedia article Criptomoneda appeared on 28 August 2016.
And in Chinese Wikipedia, only on 24 July 2017 (article 加密貨幣).
In March 2018, the word cryptocurrency was added to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, an American authoritative linguistic guide published by the company of the same name since 1828.


New term for the world


But, still, when was this new term, cryptocurrency, first used?
First of all, let's try to find this word (or phrase) in the works of cryptologists who, before Satoshi Nakmoto, tried to create electronic (digital) monetary systems based on cryptography - David Chaum, Adam Back, Nick Szabo, Wei Dai and Hal Finney. However, a search of the widely known works of these individuals was inconclusive.
The first usage of the word combination "crypto currency" in search by the popular service Google Trends was recorded in the period from 6-12 February 2011, and the first usage of the word "cryptocurrency" in the period from 13-19 February 2011. During the week 33 and 32 searches for this word were made respectively.

It should be noted that the previous "snapshot" of bitcoin.org web archive page is dated 23 August 2009 and there is no mention of "cryptocurrency" there yet. Thus, the term "cryptocurrency" appeared in the public domain between 23 August 2009 and 6 January 2010.

Therefore, until an earlier reference is found and confirmed, the birthday of the term "cryptocurrency" can be assumed to be January 6, 2010.

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