50 Insane Facts About Bitcoin You Are Unaware Of!
Bitcoin has gained quite a bit of mainstream traction recently, but not many are aware of the true nature, potential, use or secrets that the currency holds, so here are the top 50 facts about Bitcoin that aren’t known to many.
But hey, before diving right into these facts about Bitcoin, lend me your attention briefly especially if you’re a newcomer to the whole Bitcoin thing to help me make you understand what Bitcoin is. What is Bitcoin and Why it Matters?
Here’s the popular public opinion about Bitcoin- “It’s a type of currency where you can deposit/convert your money, and increase it in a short span of time”.
Yes, that’s what most people think Bitcoin to be, a kind of stock or asset which just increases its value fast, that’s because most people heard of Bitcoin quite recently, only when it started booming, but Bitcoin is much more than just a “get rich quick” scheme.
Bitcoin actually is a cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency means a “digital currency” which works and functions just like real money but doesn’t have any physical existence, and is solely and completely digital.
It doesn’t involve paper, ink or any of those traditional currency requirements, it’s rather “mined” or created with software using electricity, anyone and everyone with a powerful enough computer can contribute towards the Mining of Bitcoin and can make profits from it.
Although what makes Bitcoin revolutionary and future-proof is the fact that it’s not controlled by any one person, organization or basically anyone, unlike traditional currencies.
Also, it’s transparent yet anonymous, meaning you can verify every single transaction done on the Blockchain (It’s a ledger where every Bitcoin transaction is recorded), the fee, confirmations and everything else is transparent.
However, it’s anonymous because you can send/receive or use Bitcoins without having to reveal your identity, ever, Bitcoin functions solely on “wallet addresses”, no name, email or nothing else is required to use Bitcoins and hence it can’t be taxed or linked to you.
So in a nutshell, it’s a currency which anyone and everyone can use without any special requirements or wastage of physical raw-products and can remain anonymous at the same time, revolutionary enough isn’t it?
Now let’s get you what you came here for, the 50 insane facts about Bitcoin!
1 Bitcoin would’ve cost you around $200 in January of 2015, that $200 would’ve been equal to $8000 today in just 2 years! Or, you could’ve cashed it out last year when 1BTC hit around $20,000! Although you could’ve bought it even earlier at $1-2 back in 2008-2010! (Yes it was literally a “Who wants to be a Millionaire” chance!) Bitcoin was initially created by a single person, or atleast that’s what the world has been led to believe. Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the person who created Bitcoins. No one actually knows the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, who he is or where he’s from. Bitcoin was created exactly 10 years ago from today, in 2008. And about 80% of the people who talk of Bitcoin today didn’t even hear of Bitcoin till around 2014-15 when it picked up exponential growth. And an even lower number of people actually use or have Bitcoins today. Bitcoin was initially more popular and more widely used on the Darkweb marketplaces due to its anonymous and private nature, it’s only recently that the mainstream common folks have started using or talking of Bitcoin. 21 Million Bitcoins is the maximum number of Bitcoins which can ever be mined or created. This is another fact which makes Bitcoin a treasure because it’s limited, once the limit is reached the value of Bitcoin is positively expected to rise as further new creation of Bitcoin wouldn’t be possible. As of January 2018, Satoshi Nakamoto has around USD 16.5Billion in Bitcoins. And as Bitcoin is transparent, the Genesis address (First ever Bitcoin wallet address) is public knowledge which is- 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa and its funds can be verified publicly. This is one of the addresses that people suspect to be of Satoshi’s which has 66Bitcoins as of today, which adds upto around 5,27,340 USD (as on 13th April, 2018). 3D2oetdNuZUqQHPJmcMDDHYoqkyNVsFk9r is the richest Bitcoin wallet address as of today, having 191,438.0347498 Bitcoins which when converted to USD equals 1,52,95,90,854.84 USD! No person/company/or organization controls Bitcoin. Not even Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s truly decentralized, although another side of the story is that Billionaires and Millionaires, basically anyone with large enough funds in Bitcoin can still influence Bitcoin by investing, or puling out large funds from the market. Satoshi Nakamoto is supposed to have mined 1Million Bitcoins after he created the currency for himself, so even though Bitcoin is limited at 21Million, the actual number of Bitcoins available to the general public is 20 or 19 Million as the rest is reserved by Nakamoto for himself. (Smart move?). Over 80% of Bitcoin has already been mined in less than 10 years but it’ll supposedly take another 122 years for all the remaining Bitcoins to be mined, the year being 2140 when neither me, nor you, and not even Nakamoto would be alive. Another fact about Bitcoins is that the total Bitcoin in circulation today is around 16.7 Million BTC but around 40% of it is owned by 1000 Individuals who have bought up a large number of Bitcoins. Bitcoin transaction fee unlike the fee for traditional currency isn’t governed by the amount of money transferred and is rather dependent on the “Blocks”. It’s also highly volatile and keeps changing almost every second (although not very significantly). Hence, the fee required to send $1 Million in Bitcoin would be the same as required to send $1 as long as the transactions are done at the same time, day and year. Over 60% of mined Bitcoin has never been used, and probably will never be used either they’re just mined or held as “assets” which multiply over time without any real use, at times a fraction of them may be used but largely they’ll remain unused. Bitcoin was created using just 31,000 lines of code! It’s not much, in fact it’s negligible compared to what it took to create Whatsapp or Facebook (60M approx), but “size” doesn’t matter is what Bitcoin proved, didn’t it? One of the unfortunate facts about Bitcoin is that, as there are no companies/organizations involved, you yourselves have to be ultra careful of the coins you own. If you lose your wallet or access to your Bitcoin wallet there’s absolutely no one who can help you recover your Bitcoins. Having a bad day? Read this – James Howell once threw his harddrive, and later realized he had 7,500 Bitcoins in there which would be equal to 61,019,287.50 USD today. Yeah, 61 Million is a lot of money to throw away doesn’t matter who you are. Solving blocks is how Bitcoins are mined, well every 10 minutes a new block is solved on the Blockchain! Bitcoin miners are rewarded for Mining Bitcoins, that’s why they mine in the first place, for the profits although there are some true-believers as well, however the profit rewarded to the miners “halves” every 4 years, so since 2008 it has already been halved 2 times, by the time it’s halved 64 times all the 21 Million Bitcoins would be mined! If the power of the Blockchain is compared to supercomputers, it’ll be equal to the power possessed by 500 supercomputers put together! Bitcoin transactions can’t be reversed or refunded, so if you enter a wrong address, or the wrong amount there’s no way to contact the owner of the wrong address (if you don’t know them already or personally) so you can’t claim or ask for your Bitcoins to be returned. Kristoffer Koch bought Bitcoin in the early days, forgot about it, and by the time he remembered it, his $28 investment into Bitcoin was worth more than $827,750! Talk about luck? There is a huge number of people who bought Bitcoins, forgot about buying them or lost access and today those investments are worth millions of dollars, with no way for anyone to access them. Bitcoin is extremely volatile, in January 2017 1 BTC was priced at $800 USD, by 15th December 2017, in less than 12 months it boomed to $17,900 and then in just 2 months by February 5, 2018 it hit $6,200! When Bitcoin was still an infant, in 2010 a user with the username “SmokeTooMuch” auctioned 10,000BTC for USD 50, no one bought it at the time. That 10,000 BTC is worth 80000000USD today! Even though 16.95 Million Bitcoins are already in circulation, it’ll take approximately a decade more for the next million to be mined, meaning only by 2028 will the total circulation cross 18Million. Not everything is well and good about Bitcoin, as it’s a digital currency and as it functions on Blockchain, a single BTC transaction needs nearly 4000 times more energy than a credit card transaction so if you’re one for “Green Earth” and all those other Eco-groups you may not be most excited about Bitcoin. Even though most countries are still debating and speculating the legal issues of Bitcoin, Japan has already completely legalized it and it’s considered a legal payment method just like normal currency since April 1st, 2017! No wonder they’re one of the superpowers on the planet, is it? Not just Japan, in countries such as Belgium and Finland Bitcoin is treated as a “commodity” instead of a currency or payment method and hence it’s exempted from VAT, making it all the more attractive and useable. From January of 2018, Switzerland started accepting taxes in Bitcoin not only legalizing the cryptocurrency but also encouraging it. Thailand was one of the first countries to outlaw Bitcoin, they did it as early as 2013! Although around 2016 they suggested it’s not completely illegal. China is another country which banned banks from using or trading in Bitcoins in 2013. Some countries where Bitcoin is completely “illegal” and will get you into legal troubles for using them are- Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, Nepal, Algeria, Bangladesh etc. This transaction is probably the largest Bitcoin transaction in history, worth 500,000 BTC which when converted to USD equals 4,02,49,97,500.00 USD.
Silkroad, one of the most popular and biggest Darkweb marketplace made up for around 5% of Bitcoin’s total circulation and economy before the marketplace was closed and its founder arrested by the FBI. The FBI also owned around 1.5% of world’s total Bitcoin after seizing Silkroad. Another one of the interesting facts about Bitcoin is that now Bitcoin debit cards are available, which let you use Bitcoins as normal currency at any retailers accepting normal Credit/Debit cards. Also, Bitcoin can be withdrawn in some countries from Bitcoin ATMs just like normal currency. Obviously, the currency you get is FIAT (normal currency) equivalent to whatever you want to withdraw in BTC. You can buy Lamborghinis directly using Bitcoins. Some other major companies accepting Bitcoins are Microsoft, Dell, Expedia etc. Bitcoin’s market cap as of April 13th 2018 is $135,013,316,309 USD! Although in the December of 2017, Bitcoin touched the market cap of 600 Billion USD! Bitcoin was the first Cryptocurrency to come to existence, but currently, there are hundreds of other Cryptocurrencies, although all functioning on Blockchain or just some other technologies without any technology of their own, unlike Bitcoin those currencies are used to raise money for start-ups and ideas but are still profitable if traded wisely. WikiLeaks, arguably the most popular whistleblowing site started accepting Bitcoin donations after banks and lenders refused working with them. Since then, WikiLeaks has received over 30Million USD worth of donations purely in Bitcoin excluding the other currency donations which they accept as well. Not just merchants and shops, quite a few educational institutes as well such as Lucerne, and ESTM of Berlin University of Nicosia, Cyprus allow students to pay their admission and tuition fee in Bitcoins. The top three Bitcoin millionaires are Roger Ver worth 520 Million, Charlie Shrem worth 450 Million, Dave Carlson worth 350 Million. Currently, Bitcoin miners take profits from their mining, but once all the Bitcoin are mined they’ll be paid a part of the transaction fee. Even though Bitcoin is a digital currency, it can’t be duplicated. Meaning one Bitcoin can be spent only once at a time, obviously it can be spent by the next owner of that specific coin but the same currency can’t be at the same time spent multiple times. Another one of the facts about Bitcoin is the only 10% of Bitcoin addresses have actual money, the rest 90% have less than 0.1 BTC in them and are just created by first-timers or for research purposes. Alderney is the first country which announced that it would soon be setting up plants for mining physical mints for Bitcoin. Vancouver, Canada is the first-ever city to have ever set a Bitcoin cash machine. Virgin Galactic is a company by Virgin Airlines which offers you to travel to space and what makes it one of the facts about Bitcoin is that it accepts Bitcoin as a form of currency which you can use to travel to space.
In December of 2017 the U.S government auctioned Bitcoins which at Bitcoin’s current price are valued at over 10 Million USD. Chinese Mining pools alone control over 80% of Bitcoin’s collective Hashrate! In addition to that, “AntPool” a Chinese mining pool mined around 20% of total blocks in the years 2016 and 2017. The first ever commercial Bitcoin transaction was used to buy two large Pizzas by Laszlo Hanyecz, they cost him 10,000Bitcoins at Papa John’s which is currently valued at 80,270,050.00 US Dollar! commercial Bitcoin transaction for pizza in 10000 Bitcoins
One of the fortunate facts about Bitcoin is that even though losing Bitcoins via wallets is quite easy, they can be stored in “hardware wallets” which are thumb-drive sized devices which store your Bitcoins offline and hence they can’t be stolen or lost as long as you have access to the Hardware wallet. The last facts about Bitcoin I’d like to include is that at least 33 U.S households can be powered for 1 complete day by the energy that’s required for a single Bitcoin transaction!