If you are reading this then you probably already know plenty about Bitcoin. But here are ten bite-sized facts that you can drop into conversation, to pique the interest of and impress non-crypto-savvy friends.
Top 10 Amazing Bitcoin Facts
10. Nobody knows who invented it. Well somebody does, but they’re not telling
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Despite conjecture, investigations, spurious claims, junk, bunkum and hearsay, the identity of Bitcoin’s creator remains a mystery… or at least unconfirmed. And there’s something just a little bit cool about that. Long may it stay that way, say I.
9. Bitcoin transactions are completely anonymous and untraceable…
One of the key features of Bitcoin is that its users can choose not to reveal their identities. Only their wallet IDs are collected and recorded in the blockchain with each transaction made. This means that you can buy and sell whatever you want without anybody ever finding out.
8. …except they’re not
The blockchain is a permanent ledger of every transaction ever made. And it is accessible for anyone to examine at any time. Any bitcoin can be traced right back to the point at which it was mined.
Following a multi-million dollar heist on dark web site Sheep Marketplace in 2013, two reddit users tracked large transactions through a wallet believed to be used in the raid. However, it was discovered that this wallet belonged to a bitcoin exchange and not the criminals. The thieves were eventually tracked down by law enforcement agencies, likely utilizing similar techniques.
7. The first purchase made with bitcoins was for pizza
In May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz made a forum post offering 10,000 bitcoins for two Papa Johns pizzas. At a price of around $41 this gave the first concrete valuation of one bitcoin at about $0.0041. Laszlo was more than happy with the deal as he had mined the bitcoin for essentially nothing. Some would say that $41 is too much for two Papa Johns pizzas. However, today those 10,000 bitcoin are worth $7.6 million.
6. If you lose your bitcoins they are gone forever
In 2013 Welsh IT worker, James Howells, threw out an old hard drive. On it were stored his digital wallet containing 7,500 bitcoins and his private key. Without the private key, neither he nor anybody else can use those bitcoins ever again. It is estimated that up to a quarter of all bitcoins so far mined may have been lost. At least Laszlo got some pizza.
5. Bitcoin can now be used for almost anything…
…taking us humans from cradle to grave, via some unexpected detours.
Baby bibs, funerals, pizza (of course), comics, computers, cars, property, yachts, charity donations, beer, pornography, a gambling addiction, rehab, air travel, space travel, a gun, drugs, anything at an ever increasing number of major retailers. And that’s before you even start looking at the dark markets.
4. Since 1 Jan 2010, Bitcoin has consistently been the best performing currency year over year against the US Dollar
2010: $0.0015(*) -> $0.31 = 20,566% growth
2011: $0.31 -> $6.18 = 1,894% growth
2012: $6.18 -> $13.44 = 117% growth
2013: $13.44 -> $751.00 = 5,488% growth
2015: $285.00 -> $435.70 = 53% growth
2016: $435.70 -> $761.95(*) = 75% growth
* 1 Jan 2010 price is estimated as official records do not exist. 2016 closing price is as of time of writing and still liable to change.
3. Yes okay, so I missed a year… except for in 2014, when it was the worst performing currency against the US Dollar. Ouch!
2014: $751.00 -> $285.00 = 62% loss
But to be fair, on the back of a near five and a half thousand percent growth, some leveling out was to be expected.
2. The force is strong with this Bitcoin and pizza
Last year, a drunken Brit wanted to buy a pizza to thank a guy in the US for some free publicity. Finding it harder than he had anticipated, he asked reddit for a solution, and was recommended Bitcoin. Not realising the value, he accidentally bought two bitcoins, worth about $550 at the time, and leaving a substantial Bitcoin balance. Still tipsy, he offered to buy pizzas for any redditors who had helped him to buy the first one. This led to him being labelled the “Jesus of the Internet.”
1. The phrase “Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.” is an anagram of “Cash miner, too basic to knot a ratio.”
Nothing about the original crypto-currency is more cryptic than this. Could this be a clue to the mysterious creator’s true identity? An admission of the real intentions behind Bitcoin’s creation? Or just random nonsense used to fill out a top ten list?
If you can find a more apt or just plain funny anagrams then please leave it in the comments. There may even be a prize for the best one so share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of shutterstock