From novelty to nostalgia: New Liberty Standard’s crypto legacy

When the exchange emerged in October 2009, bitcoin saw its price rise above $0 for the first time based on pioneering methods used to calculate its value


lunamarina/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


Wednesday marked the 14th anniversary of the world’s first crypto exchange, the New Liberty Standard, once considered a pioneer that led the earlier days in digital assets trading.

When the exchange first emerged in October 2009, bitcoin (BTC), a relatively unknown digital asset back then, saw its price rise above $0 for the very first time.

The New Liberty Standard was one of the earliest attempts at establishing a market value for bitcoin based on real-world commodities, specifically the cost of electricity used to mine them.

By calculating the average amount of electricity required to run a high CPU computer for a year and taking into account the average residential cost of electricity in the US, the platform established the first formal method for calculating bitcoin’s value.

The equation divided $1.00 by the annual electricity cost, further divided by the number of bitcoin produced over a month by the computing unit. Its formula became the gold standard for the budding crypto market during that period.

As with many early industry initiatives, it didn’t remain dominant for long. 

Over time, the New Liberty Standard faded into obscurity and its website eventually went offline. The specifics surrounding its decline are not widely documented, and there is limited information available about its later activities or why it ceased operations.

What’s clear, however, is that as bitcoin and other cryptos gained traction, a variety of more sophisticated exchanges and platforms emerged. 

These newer platforms offered advanced trading features, more security and a better user experience, likely contributing to a shift away from early platforms.

Even still, it’s worth noting that even if the New Liberty Standard itself did not persist, its contributions to the early days of cryptocurrency valuation and exchange remain a significant part of bitcoin’s history.

Happy birthday New Liberty Standard. May you rest in peace.

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