1991 - Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta wrote a white paper about using cryptographic blocks to store data immutably. They were trying to solve hte problem of digital problem to keep the past secure from tampering so that information would be secure and persistent.
1993 - Proof of Work is born in response to the large amount of spam and other network abuses.
2008 - Satoshi Yakimoto publishes white paper on peer-to-peer cryptocurrency forming the foundations of Bitcoin entitled, “Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System.” Read it Bitcoin White Paper
2014 - Ethereum is born. EVM, Ethereum Virtual Machine, is born. It is much more than a currency. It “is a distributed world computer that runs on a blockchain.” Blockchain Foundations and Use Cases - Coursera Lecture EVM allows for smart contracts to run on a blockchain, that lets developers create a distributed application.
2015 - Bitcoin get serious attention.
2016 - Blockchain gets adoption from the financial industry.
2017 - Harvard Business Review suggested that blockchain is a “foundational technology”. HBR
Now - There are active developers creating Dapps and smart contracts all over the world. Interest is growing!