The history of cryptocurrencies has a precise starting date: October 31, 2008. In fact, that was the now legendary day when Satoshi Nakamoto presented his Bitcoin whitepaper to the Cryptography Mailing List.
Bitcoin is by far the first cryptocurrency ever created, over thirteen years ago, and that message is the formal birth certificate of cryptocurrencies themselves.
However, at the time there was only a PDF containing the descriptions of the Bitcoin protocol. Satoshi worked for a few more months on the conclusion of the first client, the software that at the time made Bitcoin nodes and wallets run, and on January 3, 2009, he minted the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain.
For a few days after having mined it, he observed that everything had gone correctly, so on January 8 he publicly released the client, Bitcoin v0.1, on The Cryptography Mailing List. From that moment on anyone could download it, install it, and run it.
The second block was mined on January 9, and since then many others have been generated in rapid succession. By that time not only was Bitcoin born, yet it was already working. The first real transaction occurred on January 12, when Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 BTC to Hal Finney.
At the time not only was Bitcoin used by only a few followers of the cypherpunk community, but its dollar value was zero.
The first known exchange on the market from which it is possible to calculate the first exchange rate happened in August of the following year, when BTCs were sold at a price of $0.07 each. In the following weeks, the price also dropped to $ 0.06, but by the end of the year it had already soared to $ 0.3, an increase of 328% in just over four months