Bitcoin is a rebel with a cause that came into existence as an answer to the hegemonic banking and government institutions that troubled the world.
In a short span of 10 years, bitcoin has captured global attention and positioned itself as a force to be reckoned with. It is seen an impressive rise in its adoption with millions of users using it every day.
This never seen before currency is filled with interesting factoids that make it truly unique.
Let’s explore some of them…
To Infinity and Beyond…
Virgin Galactic, a space flight company founded by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson announced that they will accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for their space flight tickets.
Attracting the likes of Winklevoss twins to make a purchase of this coveted ticket in Bitcoin.
The year is 2140…
What’s so special about the year 2140, you wonder? Well, it is said to be the year around which the last bitcoin would be mined.
Up until now, about 18.5 million or 88.34% of the total bitcoin supply have been mined which leaves about 2.5 million left to be mined.
One might think that since we are left with such a small of bitcoin to be mined the date to mine the final bitcoin would arrive sooner, but, the bitcoin timeline is a bit more complicated than that.
The mining process rewards miners with bitcoin but this reward periodically decreases (approx. every 4 years) to control the supply of the coins.
To think that it took approximately 10 years to mine 18.5 million coins while the next 2.5 million would take another 120 years to come to fruition.
All of this is assuming that the bitcoin protocol stays the same.
It's raining bitcoin!
The top 10 richest bitcoin addresses contain a total of 781,921 BTC which approximates the value of $14.6 billion in today’s price.
This is 3.7% of the total Bitcoin supply.
There is no way to know for sure who owns these wallets but there is a high probability that some of these addresses may belong to cryptocurrency exchanges that are holding bitcoin assets of its customers.
It's going up, up, and up…
Bitcoin is said to be a highly volatile asset that can crash or gain in a matter of minutes. Its price is notorious for its speedy highs and gut-wrenching crashes.
But despite these fluctuations, bitcoin price has seen a whooping gain of 160,457% in the past 8 years.
The HODLers seem to be doing it right…
The power of Chile
Bitcoin mining is an extremely energy-intensive process. It is estimated that bitcoin takes 77.78 TWh (terawatt-hour) of annual energy which is enough to power the nation of Chile.
1 single bitcoin transaction consumes 695.12 kWh worth of electricity enough to leave a carbon footprint equivalent to 731K VISA transactions.
Want to buy Pizza?
May 22, 2010, is widely recognized as “Bitcoin Pizza Day” amongst the bitcoin community and has an interesting story behind it.
On this fated day, a Florida man who goes by the name Laszlo Hanyecz bought 2 pizzas for a price of 10,000 BTC.
If the pizza seller is still holding on to that bitcoin they would be $187 million richer.
Private Key is the Key
Bitcoin is stored in wallets that all come with a set of strings called a private key. This private key is used to validate bitcoin transactions and also restore bitcoin balance in case the original wallet is lost.
Anyone who is in the possession of a private key owns the bitcoin associated with it.
There are multiple instances of people losing their private keys and costing them their bitcoin which sometimes could mean a loss of millions.
James Howells lost the private keys to his 7500 bitcoin costing him $140 million in today's price.[Source: ForexNote]
He accidentally threw away the hard drive that contained the private key and even made attempts to retrieve it from the landfill it was allegedly buried in.
So, do make sure you are following all the safety measures to keep your bitcoin safe and secure.
In the late 1980s, a movement started to develop that advocated the use of cryptography to increase privacy and bring about socio-economic change.
In 1992, Eric Hughes, Timothy C May, and John Gilmore formed a small group of like-minded individuals that met regularly in the San-Francisco bay area. Soon they came to be called cypherpunks, a derivation of “cipher” and “cyberpunk.”
Some notable Cypherpunks and their achievements:
- Jacob Appelbaum: Tor developer
- Julian Assange: Founder of WikiLeaks
- Dr. Adam Back: Inventor of Hashcash, co-founder of Blockstream
- Bram Cohen: Creator of BitTorrent
The group advocated the importance of privacy in the modern age and tools to achieve it.[Source: Medium]
It is believed that bitcoin was inspired by this movement. Maybe Satoshi Nakamoto was a cypherpunk too.
Government got nothing on Bitcoin
There is a lot of frenzy amongst people when it comes to bitcoin legality. Governments have sent mixed signals about the currency with no clear stand on the currency.
Some countries claim to have banned the currency, some allow it while others have no take on it.
Bitcoin is truly a regulation grey area. But…
The way bitcoin is designed means that its use technically cannot be stopped by the government. All one needs is an internet connection and a smartphone to get started with bitcoin.
Having said that this does not mean one much openly defy government regulations. If a country has placed a crypto ban it is strongly advised to not partake in its use.
The road is silk
Silk Road was perhaps one of the most famous online marketplace operating on the dark web. It was best known for the sales of illegal drugs.[Source: Wikipedia]
In 2013, the FBI arrested the founder of the website, Ross Ulbricht, and shut down the website. It also seized millions worth of bitcoin which were later auctioned.
On Nov. 3, 2020, after years of inactivity, FBI managed to seize 69,370 bitcoin worth $1 billion in today's price with the help of an anonymous hacker referred to as ‘Individual X’. The bitcoin has been associated with the Silk Road and is currently in possession of the United States Department of Justice.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://insights.blockonomics.co/10-bizarre-facts-about-bitcoin/