There are several interesting facts about Bitcoin (BTC). What if we told you that Bitcoin’s success is not entirely a game of chance. That several things have summed up to make it the most sought after cryptocurrency that it is today? Like it’s secret founder. Or, that an entire day is dedicated to all Bitcoin pizza lovers the world over just to celebrate Bitcoin.
Some of these fascinating facts are stuff you’ve heard just around the corner while others are things you wouldn’t have imagined. In this article, we’ve put together a list of some of these interesting facts and why they play such a crucial role in Bitcoin’s history.
1. Bitcoin Was First used to Buy Pizza
On May 22, 2010, a man named Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas. At that time, the value of 10,000 BTC was only $41. As a remembrance of this day, the day is called the Bitcoin Pizza Day. On this day, Pizza restaurants tend to offer discounts to Bitcoin users.
2. There’ll Only Ever Be 21 Million BTCs
From the initial creation of Bitcoin, it’s been set in Bitcoin’s code that the total number of BTC that would ever be mined is 21,000,000. It is also estimated that the last Bitcoin token would be mined in the year 2140.
3. Mystery Founder
Bitcoin is the only existing cryptocurrency with a mysterious creator. Whether or not the creator of Bitcoin is a single person or a group of people is a mystery too. After working on the Bitcoin project for a while, our mystery man (or group) left the project for the Bitcoin community in 2010 and went MIA. Several people have come out to claim that they are Satoshi Nakamoto, the original creator of Bitcoin. But, none of them has provided substantial evidence to back up their claims.
The anonymity of Bitcoin’s creator is one of the reasons why Bitcoin is so successful. With the non-traceability of the creator, the goal of decentralization has been easier to reach with this particular cryptocurrency.
4. Loss of Private Keys Equals Loss of Bitcoins
At the time of this post, the total number of BTC supposedly lost as a result of the loss of private keys is said to about 4 million. These Bitcoin tokens are lost forever because the private keys used to access them have been misplaced.
Bitcoin wallets are accessed by private keys which function as a password. When a person loses their private key, they lose access to their Bitcoin wallet.
5. It Is Difficult to Identify Individuals Behind Transactions on The Blockchain
This is because people can carry out transactions on the Bitcoin network anonymously. You only need to be identified with your public address as this is what people use to send BTC to you. People can only identify the transactions you carry out on the Bitcoin blockchain if they know your public address. However, there is still a degree of possibility that your transaction can be tracked on the Bitcoin blockchain. Even though this is a difficult feat to pull, it is not altogether impossible.
6. Some Big Companies Accept Cryptocurrency Payments
You can shop with Bitcoin in several retail stores and companies around the world. Some of the popular ones are Dell electronics distributor, eBay, Bloomberg, Domino’s Pizza, Etsy, Euro Pacific, Paypal, Shopify, Virgin Galactic and a host of others. You can check for the stores closest to you where cryptocurrency is accepted as a means of payment on coin map.
Here’s also a map to find Bitcoin ATMs. Although there are currently none in Nigeria.
7. Bitcoin was not the first attempt at a Digital Currency
Despite the fact that it’s the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was not the first attempt to create a digital currency. Bitcoin is only the first purely blockchain-based cryptocurrency though. The first digital currency is Digicash.
The very first attempt at cryptocurrency happened sometime around the late 1980s. A petrol station located in a remote area had to service trucks in the middle of the night. But, they had a challenge pulling this off because midnight was usually the time when robbers raided. The money they made within this period of time ended up stolen. To combat this the idea of virtual money was developed. Instead of cash, the truck drivers were given cards by which to carry out transactions at that time of day to avoid such poignant stories.
Sometime in 1983, there was another more pronounced attempt. This time, a 28-year-old PhD student at the University of Berkley named David Chaum released a scientific paper about a digital currency built without the blockchain. Chaum was the first person who described what digital money could be. Today, he is described as a pioneer in cryptography and privacy-preserving technologies. In 1989, Chaum’s company created the first digital currency without the blockchain. Thus, the award for first digital currency goes to Chaum’s invention, Digi cash.
Another attempt at a digital currency was Nick Szabo’s Bit Gold. Bit gold could not survive primarily because it could not solve the double-spending problem. Bitcoin solved that problem and rose to become the first digital currency to go mainstream.
8. Can be Regulated not Banned
Government policies surrounding Bitcoin are a little complicated. There’s been a lot of talks about banning this digital currency too. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it does not work with the traditional financial system. It goes against the grain of what the government is familiar with. Based on how Bitcoin was programmed to work, it can only be regulated not banned outrightly.
With as little as an internet connection, anyone can transfer funds to the Bitcoin wallet of anyone else anywhere in the world.
Also, more and more governments like Venezuela, Australia and Japan are beginning to realise the uniqueness of the digital currency and have begun to take steps to integrate it into the fundamental financial system of their respective countries.
9. 80% of All Bitcoins Have Already Been Mined
The last bitcoin token which is the 21 millionth Bitcoin token is slated to be mined in 2140. Today, however, the Bitcoin fact is 80% of that entire number has already been mined.
10. Satoshi’s Bitcoins
Of the 21 million Bitcoins that’ll ever exist, the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto owns 1 million locked up in a wallet for himself. It is believed that the 1 million BTCs will never be spent. Fascinating Bitcoin fact yeah?
11. The Biggest Bitcoin Personal Loss was Worth 74 Million USD
A man named James Howell from Wales threw away an old hard drive with no idea that the private keys to a Bitcoin wallet holding up to 7500 BTC was in it. Ouch!
12. Bitcoin Experienced Its Most Significant Crash in 2017/2018
People who held BTC in 2018 must have felt a huge pain pang as they watched their investments water down in such a quick pace just after the renowned 2017 price boom. 2018 in the Bitcoin world was known as the year of the great Bitcoin crash. Between January and February, the price of Bitcoin dropped by about 65%. And by September of that same year, the Bitcoin had experienced as much as an 80% drop in price.
14. Trading profits of up to 1 million dollars
Estimates show that between 20,000 to about 200,000 people have made more than 1 million dollars each from trading in Bitcoin.
15. There are Bitcoin ATMs
Yes, Bitcoin ATMs exist and you can find them in several places around the world. Majority of Bitcoin ATMs are located in the United States.
16. Is built on the Blockchain
This has to be one of the most fascinating facts about Bitcoin. It is built on the blockchain and the blockchain is a decentralized system.
17. The Biggest Idea Behind Nakamoto’s Invention is “Proof of Work”
Before Bitcoin, the other attempts at cryptocurrency failed largely because of the double-spending problem. The double-spending problem was a huge road-block because it meant that a person could spend one token twice or more times.
With the proof of work system in place, however, Bitcoin made this action impossible. Each transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain now had to be verified via the solving of complex mathematical equations. It was now almost impossible to trick the system. And, thus far, no one has been able to pull that off. Not yet.
Only successfully verified transactions are added to the blockchain.