This article was originally posted as part of Coindesk's Payment Week.
In the fall of 2008, the white paper "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System," authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, circulated on a cryptography mailing list. As signaled by the title, it proposed a protocol for creating an electronic cash system without the need for intermediaries or trust. Some months later, in January 2009, the first-ever Bitcoin block was mined.
There was no block size limit on the Bitcoin network in the very beginning. To prevent network spamming and the blockchain size increasing exponentially, a block size limit of 1MB was introduced. The Bitcoin Network has maintained its small block size and long blocktime to keep the network decentralized through tumultuous times with considerable disagreements.