Bitcoin at 10: 10 Facts to know

Today the 31st of October makes it 10 years since the day when Bitcoin was made public. Here are 10 interesting facts about cryptocurrencies that you should know

  • Crisis births Innovation

On the 31st October, 2008, in the midst of one of the worst financial crises the world had ever seen, a person – or group – by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper that claimed to offer an alternative to the traditional banking system.  It was this paper that led to what is now known as Bitcoin. It was said to have been published in reaction to the financial crisis.

  • Nobel Prize?

In 2015 the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, which is the fictitious name of the person or group that created the paper was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Economic sciences but alas the time was not right.

  • Bitcoin Pizza Day

On 22nd May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a  programmer, was the first person to use Bitcoin as a currency to buy two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. Today, 10,000 bitcoins is equivalent to over $60 million at today’s prices.  In some circles, May 22nd is known as Bitcoin Pizza Day

  • Bitcoin ATM

The first ever bitcoin ATM was installed on the 29th October 2018 at a Wave coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine allowed users to exchange bitcoins for cash.

  • Mt. Gox Hack

Every currency has its low moments. For Bitcoin one of its lowest points was in February 2014, when Japanese-based cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy.  In 2013 and into 2014, Mt. Gox was handling over 70% of all bitcoin (BTC) transactions worldwide, as the largest bitcoin intermediary and the world’s leading bitcoin exchange.  Mt. Gox announced that approximately 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen, an amount valued at more than $450 million at the time

  • Bitcoin has been sent into outer space

Genesis Mining, a bitcoin cloud mining provider in 2016 sent bitcoin to space. This was achieved with a 3D bitcoin model and a bitcoin paper wallet, which were tied to a weather balloon. Once the weather balloon reached a height of 20 kilometers, the ground team made the transaction to a paper wallet. Another transfer was made to the wallet once it achieved a maximum altitude of 34 km.

  • The world’s largest Bitcoin wallet is with the FBI

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down the operations of the Silk Road,  it seized the owner’s assets. By seizing its assets the FBI became one of the world’s wealthiest bitcoin owners. The FBI is supposedly in control of $120 million.

  • Institutional Investors

Fidelity Investments in August 2017, became one of a handful of financial institutions to embrace Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. According to Hadley Stern, their senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity Labs at that time “This is an experiment in the spirit of learning what these crypto assets are like and how our customers may want to interact with them.”

  • There are a set number of Bitcoins

The total amount of Bitcoins to ever be created is 21 million. As at January 2018 there were about 16.7 million bitcoins that had been mined and are being traded. The last bitcoin will be mined in 2140. After that, there will be no new bitcoins mined.

  • Thou shall not be banned

Bitcoin can’t be banned. Due to the nature of Bitcoin, many people have spoken about “banning” it.  However, Bitcoin was designed in such a way that it can only be regulated not banned. As long as a user has an internet connection and a Bitcoin wallet, you can buy, sell or send Bitcoin.

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