Bitcoin's Journey

25 Jun '15

New York Passes Digital Currency Regulation Into Law

BTC/USD $243
The New York State Department of Financial Services passes into law its regulatory framework for digital currency companies.

The BitLicense follows nearly two years of investigation and two comment periods.

The regulation encourages heightened security procedures with Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering that banks already adhere to under the law.

Some Bitcoin advocates believe regulation will stifle the technology, while others believe regulation adds legitimacy and certainty among financial institutions.
3 Jan '15

Bitcoin Turns 6 Years Old

BTC/USD $300
With 13.6 million bitcoins mined into existence, and the number of transactions per day breaking through 100,000, Bitcoin turns 6 years old.

2014 started on a high with Overstock throwing it's support behind Bitcoin, becoming the first major retailer to accept the digital currency.

A milestone was reach in February 2014 where over 100 Altcoins had been birthed thanks to the innovations of Bitcoin's blockchain technology, closing out the year with an immeasurable number of Altcoins topping 500 or more.

The price of bitcoin was also a major story throughout the year, starting at around $900 and finishing at $320. The price drop was largely attributed to uncertainty surrounding government regulation of digital currencies and the collapse of Mt Gox.

The biggest story of 2014 was the closure and bankruptcy of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox. The true nature of how Mt Gox appeared to have lost 650,000 bitcoins remains a mystery.

2014 was the year the US government became the first country in the world to sell bitcoin to it's citizens through the auction of seized Silk Road funds.

The bitcoin network began 2014 with a hashrate of 11 Petahash per second and finished the year with around 330 PH/s. The astonished rise in network security and participation has been attributed to the increase in bitcoin price towards the end of 2013, leading to large investments in network infrastructure.
Since the bitcoin price has dropped, the increasing hashrate has stalled but remains steady at an all time high.
2 Dec '14

Over 100000 Transactions Per Day

BTC/USD $382
The number of transactions per day reached a milestone of 100,000 showing considerable growth and utility of the bitcoin network.

Although the price per bitcoin had been dropping, the number of transactions per day has been seen as a healthy metric to judge bitcoin adoption.
24 Sep '14

Paypal Begins Accepting Bitcoin

BTC/USD $450
In a move eagerly anticipated by the Bitcoin community for many years as a sign of impending mass adoption, Paypal announces 2 subdivisions will begin accepting Bitcoin on behalf of it's merchants.

"PayPal has entered into agreements with leading Bitcoin payment processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin. Starting today, these agreements let PayPal digital goods merchants accept Bitcoin with a simple integration through the PayPal Payments Hub."

PayPal's Braintree unit said earlier this month it would facilitate bitcoin payments for its e-commerce clients via an agreement with Coinbase.

Having the implicit endorsement of PayPal is a pivotal moment for the bitcoin ecosystem.
27 Jun '14

US Marshals Service Auctions Silk Road Bitcoins

BTC/USD $600
The United States government became the first country in the world to sell bitcoins to it's citizens.

The auction, proceeds from the seizure of "dark web" marketplace Silk Road, offered 9 blocks of 3,000 bitcoins and a tenth block featuring 2,656.51 bitcoins.

The winning bidder, Venture capitalist Tim Draper, took all 10 blocks for an undisclosed price.

Draper released this statement with partner Vaurum:

"Bitcoin frees people from trying to operate in a modern market economy with weak currencies. With the help of Vaurum and this newly purchased bitcoin, we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies.

Of course, no one is totally secure in holding their own country's currency. We want to enable people to hold and trade bitcoin to secure themselves against weakening currencies."
30 Apr '14

Bitcoin On Bloomberg Terminals

BTC/USD $448
Bloomberg, who provide financial analytic software, equity trading platform, data services and news to financial companies and organizations through the Bloomberg terminal starts providing Bitcoin pricing to over 320,000 global subscribers.

Bloomberg says "[through] the Bloomberg Professional service, business and financial professionals can now monitor and chart data from bitcoin exchanges Coinbase and Kraken, while tracking related virtual currency news and social media posts from more than 100,000 sources."

The largest and wealthiest investors and funds use Bloomberg Professional services. Adding Bitcoin data has been hailed as a big step towards making Bitcoin a legitimate investment vehicle.
6 Mar '14

Newsweek Misidentifies Bitcoins Creator As Dorian Nakamoto

BTC/USD $668
Leah McGrath Goodman, writer for tabloid magazine Newsweek, came under intense fire from the Bitcoin community for falsely revealing Temple City, California resident, Dorian Nakamoto as the creator of Bitcoin in her expose.

Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto denies having any involvement in Bitcoin's creation, and much of the community came to his defense after many personal details (medical, residential, family info) were revealed in the article.

Prominent Bitcoin champion, Andreas Antonopoulos raised funds to support the struggling model train enthusiast, who later thanked the Bitcoin community for their generosity.

28 Feb '14

Mt Gox Files For Bankruptcy Protection

BTC/USD $575
Mt Gox, the troubled Bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection under Japanese law. The rumors had been circulating around the Bitcoin community for a week prior to the announcement, even though Mt Gox had been frustratingly silent since blaming the Transaction Malleability quirk for losing customer's Bitcoins.

The true nature of the problems at Mt Gox came to light in the leaked Crisis Strategy document that stated the exchange had 744,000 bitcoins it could not access.

If that number is not mind blowing enough, the official announcement said the full extent of inaccessible bitcoins was closer to 850,000 in total.

The leaked document also openly discusses manipulating the market for the benefit of Mt Gox regaining a foothold on it's problems.

Several prominent companies in the Bitcoin space got their hands on the shocking document prior to being leaked publicly, and released a joint statement when they learned of "the tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt.Gox".

This is a developing story and speculation is rife about CEO Mark Karpeles' ability to save Mt Gox. Many in the Bitcoin community would prefer Mt Gox shuffle off quietly and never be heard from again.
23 Feb '14

Mazacoin Becomes First Crypto Currency Of Sovereign Nation

BTC/USD $610
Mazacoin becomes the first crypto-currency used by the sovereign Traditional Lakota Nation within the United States of America.

As another "altcoin" derivative of Bitcoin, Mazacoin suggests "the forward looking decision of the Traditional Lakota Nation to adopt a Crypto-Coin as their national currency will pave the way for other countries in the world to abandon dysfunctional forms of fiat currency."

Minting coinage can be a powerful symbol of national identity and sovereignty, this is especially true of tribal or micro-nations who can not afford a fiat currency system.
12 Feb '14

100 Altcoins Based On Bitcoin

BTC/USD $670
Since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009, the open source community have embraced the underlying technology to spin off their own brand of crypto-currency.

Almost anyone can create their own 'coin', but only a handful have gained any value.

According to Coinmarket Cap, the number of Bitcoin alternatives (colloquially known as 'altcoins') that have value has now reached 100!

There are many more altcoins that do not have value (yet) where the overall market has over 200 altcoins and growing daily.

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10 Feb '14

Transaction Malleability Causes Mt Gox To Implode

BTC/USD $700
A long known quirk of the Bitcoin protocol known as Transaction Malleability was exploited to defraud the Mt Gox exchange of an unknown sum of bitcoins.

The fraud was serious enough to cause Mt Gox to shutdown all bitcoin withdrawals while they fix the problem. Their announcement of the shutdown however, caused shockwaves throughout the Bitcoin community; not because the quirk was exploited, but because it appeared Mt Gox blamed the Bitcoin protocol rather than it's own implementation of it's customized wallet software.

The blame shifting from Mt Gox caused enormous anger among Bitcoin advocates who denounced the exchange, resulting in many charting services removing Mt Gox from being listed.

Other exchanges promptly tested their own implementations for the Transaction Malleability quirk and fixed any issues within a few days. Mt Gox, on the other hand, still have not fixed their wallet software, yet has allowed trading to continue.

Prices on Mt Gox have dropped under $100 while the value on other exchanges have remained relatively steady above $600 in the weeks following the issues.

Mt Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles resigned as a board member of the Bitcoin Foundation on 23rd Feb 2014.
9 Jan '14

Overstock Becomes First Major Retailer To Accept Bitcoin

BTC/USD $924
With over a billion dollars in revenue each year, online retail giant becomes the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin.

Teaming up with Coinbase to process Bitcoin payments, Overstock's CEO Patrick Byrne announced they would begin accepting Bitcoin for nearly one million products several months ahead of schedule.

Coinbase confirmed that over 150 orders were processed in the first hour after going live.
3 Jan '14

Bitcoins Birthday 5 Years Old

BTC/USD $880
With 12.17 million bitcoins mined into existence, Bitcoin turns 5 years old.

2013 started with Bitcoin's value sitting at $13 each and the year ended with Bitcoin rising to parity with gold ($1242) before closing out the year at $811, representing a 6000%+ increase.

2013 was the year Bitcoin became legally recognized as a currency and form of money.

Western governments cautiously examined Bitcoin, while some Eastern countries directly warned their citizens against using Bitcoin as a speculative vehicle. China outright banned it's banks and payment processors from engaging with Bitcoin, while Chinese citizens can continue to trade without interference.

Intense media interest surrounding Bitcoin stories, such as the Silk Road bust, Bitcoin Savings & Trust alleged ponzi scheme and the roller coaster that is Bitcoin's value, fueled mainstream awareness.

As a result, "bitcoin" was the 96th most searched term on Google for 2013.

2013 was also the year of the ASIC Bitcoin mining machines taking the network speed from 25TH/s to an earth shattering 11,000 TH/s by years end. The corresponding rise in difficulty meant CPU and most GPU mining was a fruitless exercise. The huge increase also made a "51% attack" on the network far less possible., the most popular Bitcoin web wallet, claims to have reached almost 1 million wallets by the end of 2013, where Coinbase has 18,000 merchants and 732,000 wallets and BitPay has over 12,000 merchants signed up for the service.
7 Dec '13

Bitcoin China Bubble Popped

BTC/USD $576
The Bitcoin community threw their arms open wide to embrace the Chinese market in 2013, only to watch the People's Bank of China enforce a ban upon Chinese banks and payment processors that would prevent them from engaging with Bitcoin directly or indirectly.

To be clear, ordinary Chinese citizens can still trade bitcoins freely as a commodity and the ban only applies to government-owned banks and government-endorsed payment processors.

The China Bubble, as it became known, popped on 5th December 2013. By 18th December 2013, the Mt Gox price of one bitcoin reached a low of $455, where BTC China sank to 2011 Yuan (about US$330).
29 Nov '13

Bitcoin Price Reaches Gold Parity

BTC/USD $1242
As media interest continues and the Chinese market reached fever pitch, bitcoin's value soared.

The month of November 2013 alone saw bitcoin prices increase 5-fold.

The gold market however, had been having a dismal year, with the price of one ounce of gold dropping to US$1242 on the same day that bitcoin's price reached it's all time high.
27 Nov '13

Casascius Coins Closed For Business

BTC/USD $970
Arguably the most iconic and recognizable symbol for Bitcoin, the Casascius Coin, minted into physical form by Mike Caldwell has shuttered his business.

To great sadness and anger from the Bitcoin community, Caldwell received a letter from the U.S. government branch Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) stating that minting physical bitcoins qualifies him as a money transmitter business, which means he needs to register at the federal level and probably get state licenses too.

The complexity and financial stress this would put on the business forced his hand, and Mike decided to cease operations.
19 Nov '13

US Government Embraces Bitcoin In Virtual Currency Hearing

BTC/USD $900
As United States government agencies sat down to hear testimony discussing both the positive and negative aspects of virtual currencies including Bitcoin, multiple witnesses label bitcoin as "legitimate" and capable of "profound transformation" in the finance industry.

Detractors commonly argue that Bitcoin can be used to launder money. The hearings unequivocally found that "cash is still the best way to launder money" and that virtual currencies are practically off the radar for large-scale criminal use.

The overwhelmingly positive hearings and testimony resulted in bitcoin prices shooting to an all time high of $900 each.
16 Nov '13

Bitcoin Ranks M100 On The Narrow Money Stock Index

BTC/USD $475.80
The Narrow Money Stock Index is a rank of a country's physical money like coins and currency along with demand deposits and other liquid assets held by the central bank.

While bitcoin is strictly not only a currency and holds broader value to the economy than can be presently measured, Coinometrics charts Bitcoin as reaching M100.

That is, Bitcoin is valued ahead of 91 countries of lesser value.

The next day, the 12 millionth bitcoin was mined.
16 Oct '13

Chinese Media Promote Bitcoin

BTC/USD $163
Chinese media (ie, government approved) begin an earnest push to promote Bitcoin as an alternative currency.

In an effort to dethrone the US dollar as the worlds reserve currency, Chinese media are very positive towards Bitcoin stating (translated) "the government did not say they had any public plans for regulation."

Separately, Baidu (the worlds 5th most popular website - aka the "Google of China") began accepting Bitcoin as payment for their website-protection service.
2 Oct '13

Fbi Seize Silk Road Bitcoins

BTC/USD $141.93
U.S. law enforcement officials from the FBI shut down Silk Road, the "dark web" online drug market, following the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht, the site's alleged proprietor.

More than 26,000 bitcoins from Silk Road user accounts were seized in the operation.

It is unknown what the US Government will do with the seized bitcoins.

Bitcoin's exchange rate reacted sharply to the news, falling to $110 before recovering fully over the next few days.

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15 Sep '13

Bitcoin Network Speed Dramatically Increases With Asic Mining

BTC/USD $140.20
The bitcoin network reaches an estimated total computational speed of 1 petahash per second (1 PH/s = 1,000,000 GH/s), just 4.75 years since the Genesis Block. The speed is 40 times faster than where 2013 began.

Just one month later in October 2013, the network speed reached 2 petahash per second.

The vast increase is attributed to the delivery of ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) dedicated hardware to miners.
6 Aug '13

Bitcoin Ruled A Currency In US Court

BTC/USD $107.30
In a case against the founder of Bitcoin Savings & Trust, an alleged Ponzi Scheme, lawyers for Trendon Shavers argued that Bitcoins are not real money.

Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas ruled that "Bitcoin is a currency or form of money, and investors wishing to invest in BTCST provided an investment of money."

The ruling, while not good for Shavers, was hailed as the moment Bitcoin became legally recognized as a currency.
17 Jun '13

Bitcoin Features In G8 Magazine

BTC/USD $102
The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the governments of eight of the world's largest national economies including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, USA and European Union.

The Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, published a full-page advertisement in the official magazine associated with the G8 Summit.

The ad reads
These days it seems like everyone is talking about Bitcoin, the digital currency that is revolutionising the way people think about money, trade and transparency. Mt. Gox offers a secure and reliable multi-currency exchange so you can trade with the entire world in your local currency. Now isn't that something worth talking about?
18 Apr '13

Bitcoin Exchange Mt Gox Is Attacked

BTC/USD $113
This was a tough day for Bitcoin exchanges and related websites.

Mt. Gox, the leading exchange doing around 80% of total market volume, came under sustained and severe DDOS attack, which effectively prevented trading on the exchange.

Another attack target was popular web wallet

Bitcoin prices held relatively steady during and after the attacks and continued to rise once the issues subsided.

Unrelated to the attacks, but occurring on the same day, two other exchanges closed their doors for good. Bitcoin-24 said "The Polish authority closed our Bank account in Poland", while Bitfloor stated their bank account was also closed in the US.
10 Apr '13

Bitcoin April 2013 Price Bubble

BTC/USD $266
The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange rate climbed to a high of USD $266 and closed at $124.90 the next morning before Mt. Gox went down for nearly a day.

When trading re-opened, Bitcoin fell to around $65 before rebounding to around $100 within a few days.

This market turbulence caused a media frenzy with many pundits crying "bubble" and accusing bitcoin of being too volatile as an investment, while currency speculators saw huge opportunity to "buy low, sell high".
28 Mar '13

Bitcoin Market Capitalization Reaches One Billion Dollars

BTC/USD $95.70
The combined value of all Bitcoins in circulation surpassed $1 billion for the first time as the exchange rate rose above $92 on the Mt Gox exchange.

The milestone comes as the total number of Bitcoins nears 11 million.
18 Mar '13

Fincen Issue Guidance On Virtual Currencies Including Bitcoin

BTC/USD $52.87
The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidance to clarify regulations "to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies," including Bitcoin.

The guidance put many businesses and miners on edge, concerned that their activities could be considered illegal within US borders.

Bitcoin Exchanges, such as Mt Gox, who had business with customers in the US had to register as a "money services business" (MSB), lest they be subject to law enforcement.

In the weeks after the guidance was issued, the price of bitcoin barely flinched and continued to rise.

On 15 May 2013, Mt Gox, the world's largest Bitcoin exchange at the time, had their US bank accounts seized for failing to register as MSB in the US.
12 Mar '13

Bitcoin Blockchain Is Forked. Software Is Rolled Back

BTC/USD $48.40
A bitcoin miner running version 0.8.0 of the reference client created a large block that was incompatible with earlier versions of Bitcoin.

The result was a block chain fork, with miners, merchants and users running the new version of bitcoin accepting, and building on, that block, and miners, merchants and users running older versions of bitcoin rejecting it and creating their own block chain.

Large mining pools running version 0.8.0 were asked to switch back to version 0.7, to create a single block chain compatible with all bitcoin software.

31 Jan '13

First Bitcoin Asic Hardware Is Delivered

BTC/USD $21.43
One of the first ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) dedicated bitcoin mining hardware was delivered to paying customer and Bitcoin core developer, Jeff Garzik.

The ASIC, made by Avalon, performed at 67.5 GH/s.

Jeff received the unit first (and a refund as a gift) due to his fundamental work on the Bitcoin protocol.

This date marks the beginning of the ASIC race.
3 Jan '13

Happy 4th Birthday Bitcoin

BTC/USD $13.45
With 10.6 million bitcoins floating around, Bitcoin turns 4 years old.

Each bitcoin cost about USD $13.45, a 3 times increase on the year before.

The year that passed saw promise of ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) dedicated hardware that would allow miners to hash at much faster rates, signalling the final death-knell to CPU, GPU and FPGA miners.

The start of 2012 saw a network speed of 9 TH/s, rising to 25 TH/s on Bitcoin's 4th birthday.

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28 Nov '12

Bitcoin Block Reward Is Halved To 25 Bitcoins

BTC/USD $12.58
In line with the Bitcoin protocol, the block reward was halved to 25 BTC for successfully solving a block first.

There was no statistical effect on the bitcoin price.
27 Sep '12

Bitcoin Foundation Is Formed

BTC/USD $12.38
The Bitcoin Foundation was formed with a goal to standardize, protect and promote Bitcoin.

The Foundation has proven valuable to the media and businesses regarding regulatory and government compliance queries.
3 Jan '12

Happy 3rd Birthday Bitcoin

BTC/USD $5.29
Bitcoin's 3rd birthday rolls around with an exchange rate sitting at USD $5.29 per bitcoin. This comes after reaching a high of $31.91 in June 2011.

Close to 8 million bitcoins have been mined.

The year just gone saw the network increase in speed from 120 MH/s to 9 TH/s due to GPU and field programmable gate array (FPGA) bitcoin mining hardware.
6 Jul '11

Bitcoin Goes Mobile

BTC/USD $16.50
Payments go mobile with Bitcoin for Android, the first of many bitcoin related Apps for smartphones and tablets.

The App's code was made open source by the developer Brian Armstrong, who co-founded bitcoin wallet provider, Coinbase.
8 Jun '11

Bitcoins First Price Bubble

BTC/USD $31.91
The price of a bitcoin briefly hit an all-time high of USD $31.91 before crashing to $10.25, proving to be the first bitcoin price bubble.

A slow and steady price decline continued for the next 5 months until the bottom was hit at $2.26 on 19th Nov 2011.

These months were a tough time for Bitcoin that would see a backlash from detractors hailing Bitcoin as a failed experiment.
20 May '11

Fpga Bitcoin Mining Is Introduced

BTC/USD $7.10
Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) bitcoin mining hardware is introduced.

FPGAs are generic hardware that offer significant advantages to CPUs and GPUs.

While most FPGAs hashed slower than GPUs, their advantage allowed a single computer to run stacks of FPGA miners, compared with just a few GPUs under normal conditions.
22 Mar '11

What Is Bitcoin Video

BTC/USD $0.81
The 'What is Bitcoin?' video produced by weusecoins marked the start of a broader awareness campaign to educate the media and the public about Bitcoin.

The video has garnered millions of views and has been featured on most major news publication websites.

The video was made possible with donations from the Bitcoin community.

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3 Jan '11

Happy 2nd Birthday Bitcoin

BTC/USD $0.30
With just over 5 million in circulation, Bitcoin turns 2 years old.

The USD/BTC exchange rate hovers around $0.30 per bitcoin.

The year that passed saw miners move their hashing power off CPUs and onto dedicated graphics cards (GPU).

The network speed at the start of 2010 was just 9 MH/s, rising to 120 MH/s on Bitcoin's 2nd birthday.
16 Dec '10

Pooled Mining For Bitcoin Begins

BTC/USD $0.255
Bitcoin mining becomes a team sport with the first block found by a group of miners working together in slush's pool.

Each miner who contributed work towards solving the block received a share of the block reward.

Within a month, Bitcoin Pooled Mining reaches a total of 10,000 Mhash/s.
15 Aug '10

Bitcoin Vulnerability Found And Exploited

BTC/USD $0.067
On 6 August 2010, a major vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol was spotted. Transactions weren't properly verified before they were included in the transaction log or "block chain" which allowed for users to bypass Bitcoin's economic restrictions and create an indefinite number of bitcoins.

On 15 August, the major vulnerability was exploited. Over 184 billion bitcoins were generated in one transaction, and sent to two addresses on the network.

Within hours, the transaction was discovered and erased from the transaction log after the bug was fixed and the network forked to an updated version of the Bitcoin protocol.
18 Jul '10

Gpu Bitcoin Mining Begins

BTC/USD $0.0858
As Bitcoin's exchange rate continues to rise, entrepreneurial miners search for ways to increase their hashing power.

Dedicated graphics cards have far more power than conventional CPUs.

Miner "ArtForz" is reportedly the first to successfully start hashing on his personal OpenCL GPU hash farm.
3 Jan '10

Happy 1st Birthday Bitcoin

Bitcoin celebrates it's 1st birthday with around 1.6 million Bitcoins in existence.

One Bitcoin is worth just a fraction of one cent.
30 Dec '09

Bitcoins First Mining Difficulty Increase

To keep bitcoin creation at a constant pace of 1 block every 10 minutes, the network difficulty adjusts itself. An increase in network speed lends to a higher difficulty in mining blocks.

In 2009, bitcoin mining was performed on CPU's, which netted the average computer a few dozen kilohash per second.

The first increase in difficulty came almost 1 year after the Genesis Block.
5 Oct '09

Bitcoin Exchange Rate Established

The first exchange rate for USD to bitcoin was published by New Liberty Standard.

The value of a bitcoin was calculated by dividing $1.00 by the average amount of electricity required to run a computer with high CPU for a year, 1331.5 kWh, multiplied by the the average residential cost of electricity in the United States for the previous year, $0.1136, divided by 12 months divided by the number of bitcoins generated by the computer over the past 30 days.

The exchange rate was calculated to be US$1 = 1,309.03 bitcoins.

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3 Jan '09

Bitcoins Birthday

The mastermind behind Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, released his whitepaper discussing the protocol on 1st Nov 2008.

After much conjecture about when Bitcoin's birthday actually is, the consensus falls to the creation of the Genesis Block, which was mined on 3rd Jan 2009.