The nuts and bolts of Bitcoin and how it works are generally well understood. However, there are certain facts about Bitcoin that not everyone might know about. As such, we will be exploring and showcasing some of the more unique Bitcoin facts that just about anyone should know.
Bitcoin has had an insane journey throughout its lifetime thus far, and the future might be even crazier. Some of these facts are about Bitcoin itself, and others are surrounding the events that took place during the rise of Bitcoin.
Interesting Facts About Bitcoin
1. A Man Spent 10,000 Bitcoins For 2 Pizzas
In 2010, after Bitcoin was initially introduced the year prior, people genuinely didn’t know how to give it any monetary value. The mainstream adoption wasn’t there yet, and in the eyes of many, it was just this worthless digital currency. To prove that Bitcoin could indeed have some value, a Florida Man known as Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 BTC at Papa John’s Pizza and bought two pizzas. This was the first known commercial BTC transaction.
At the time of writing, 1 BTC is worth $46,000. This literally makes them the world’s two most expensive pizzas, coming in at $460 million. This is by far one of the most remarkable facts about Bitcoin, and while this may seem insane to think about now, this was the first point in time where we saw the official use of BTC as a commercial transaction with a real company.
That movement right there made its value so high, to begin with. This proves that pizza is simply too important.
2. The FBI Has Seized Billions Worth Of Bitcoin
The FBI shut down one of the most notorious websites out there, Silk Road. This was an online marketplace for activities that were not really legal. A London-based blockchain analysis firm known as Elliptic picked up on a massive movement of Bitcoin, where the company reported that 69,369 BTC were moved out of a bitcoin wallet. The creator of the Silk Road website was Ross William Ulbricht, and the FBI seized 174,000 Bitcoins. That’s a total of $8 billion BTC that the FBI seized just from that website.
3. Bitcoin Has Been To The Moon
In December 2019, a cryptocurrency wallet was built by developers at SpaceChain went to space. When it arrived at the International Space Station, the 1 kg node became the first active bitcoin node on the International Space Station. Once the astronauts at the ISS installed it, the node started operation for a year and secured multi-signature transactions through the ISS data feed. So, the next time you read a Tweet that says “Let’s get (cryptocurrency name) to the moon”, they might literally mean it.
The interesting part about all of this is that, it’s not the first time we saw cryptocurrencies go to space. In 2016, Bitcoin (BTC) became the first cryptocurrency to leave the world’s atmosphere, where Genesis Mining Tied a Bitcoin Paper wallet and a 3D model of a Bitcoin to a weather balloon and conducted transactions at an altitude of up to 34 KM.
This was all a part of Genesis Mining’s “To the Moon!” campaign which was recorded using a GoPro camera which was placed inside of a Styrofoam box. The camera was focused on the Bitcoin 3D model with a paper wallet address written on one side of it.
4. Bitcoin Is The Reason For The Price Hike In Graphics Cards
If you play a lot of video games, then chances are you have wanted to upgrade your graphics card and enjoy access to some of the leading-edge graphics and bleeding-edge graphical technology. What you might also know is that graphics cards became a lot more expensive over the past few years. In early 2021 alone, over 700,000 graphics cards were bought by cryptocurrency miners.
According to research undertaken by Jon Peddie Research, bots, scalpers, and miners are draining the Add-in-Board (AIB) supply which has resulted in price inflation. If you want to put this into another perspective, those 700,000 graphics cards account for 25% of all GPUs that were sold in the first months of 2021.
The AIB shortage is due to their usage by cryptocurrency miners. The processing power of these graphics cards is sought after in order to create a new bitcoin. Miners who are mining Bitcoin (BTC) and use the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm require more processing power.
5. Bitcoin Can Be Purchased Via PayPal
In 2021, PayPal enabled users to invest in Bitcoin through the usage of their PayPal account starting at $1. However, this came with a restriction, as users couldn’t really transfer their BTC to other accounts or off the platform at all. Venmo, a mobile wallet that is owned by PayPal, also lets customers buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).
The idea here is that users can buy Bitcoin at one point in time, hold onto it and sell it at a profit later on, all through PayPal, or use it as a payment option at merchants which support Bitcoin as a payment option.
6. Over 42,000 Bitcoin ATMs Located Worldwide
On 29 October 2013, the first bitcoin ATM was installed in Vancouver, Canada. This was a machine that allowed users to exchange their credits of the digital currency (i.e. Canadian Dollars) for cash or the other way around. It is no longer operational.
The number of BTC ATMs has skyrocketed worldwide. In the USA alone, there are 42,266 Bitcoin ATMs today that can be used to purchase Bitcoin directly using fiat currency such as the US Dollar. In terms of market share, Libertyx (28.8%), Coinme (15.9%), and Coinsquare (11.1%) possess the greatest number of BTC ATMs.
Bitcoin ATMs have different fees and limits that need to be taken into consideration.
7. You Can Fly To Space With Bitcoin
In 2013, Sir Richard Branson’s commercial space flight venture, Virgin Galactic announced that they would accept Bitcoin as a payment option for reserving a space flight. Given the fact that the cost in U.S. dollars to book a space flight is $250,000, you can assume that Bitcoin would be a clever way through which clients could potentially pay for a trip.
Furthermore, there is a lot of competition for this kind of service, from giants such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, all of which are companies that are trying to create a commercial space flight option and bring more humans to space.
8. Bitcoin’s Need For Speed
Not the kind of speed you’re thinking about. While there are efforts to make the transaction speeds on Bitcoin quicker than 10 minutes, here we are discussing its use-case within the car industry. Initially, Tesla was one of the first companies to announce that its users could buy Tesla cars with Bitcoin, which was something that, throughout time, was changed due to the high level of power Bitcoin uses and miners require in order to mine it.
However, there are other car companies that do indeed accept Bitcoin as payment, including BMW, CryptoExchange, Post Oak Dealership, E-Z Rental Car, Classic Recreations, Carriage Auto Group, S.A.S.S. Auto Group, BitCars, and Bob Moore Auto Dealers. Do not forget the fact that buyers always have the opportunity to purchase even used vehicles from independent people, assuming they are willing to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
9. An Unsolved Mystery
When you go over Bitcoin’s whitepaper, or just research anything about it, you’ll see that BTC was created by a person or a group of creators known by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. This person or group of people left after initially introducing the project, and nobody really knows who or where they are, or if they are still alive.
This is common knowledge though, but did you know that Satoshi Nakamoto has around 1 million BTC in the cryptocurrency wallet? That’s $46 billion in value with today’s value of BTC, which puts Satoshi Nakamoto on the list of the world’s richest people, or group of people, assuming they are a team.
10. The Curious Case of Mt. Gox
Every cryptocurrency enthusiast has used or at least experienced a cryptocurrency exchange in some way. In the early years of cryptocurrencies, we saw the launch of Mt. Gox in 2010, which was a Bitcoin exchange based in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. It is infamous due to the fact that, from 2013 to 2014, it held over 70% of all Bitcoin transactions on a worldwide scale and was the world’s largest Bitcoin intermediary and the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange of that time.
So now you might be wondering why it was so infamous, and what does this have to do with Bitcoin? Here’s what happened. In 2014, Mt. Gox went bankrupt. In 2013, it was sued by CoinLab Inc., however, the exchange suffered its fatal blow in February of 2014, where it suspended withdrawals after it claimed to have found suspicious activity in its digital wallets. The company lost more than 850,000 Bitcoin, or in other words, 6% of all Bitcoin mined at the time. 200,000 Bitcoins were eventually recovered, however, the missing 650,000 weren’t.
This event showcased the risk involved with cryptocurrency exchanges that can be hacked. Today, cryptocurrency exchanges have tremendously increased their level of security and regulation as a direct result of the Mt. Gox incident.
11. Bitcoin Used To Cryogenically Preserve Bodies
One of Bitcoin’s earliest adopters is freezing his body so he can see the future. Hal Finney is a renowned cryptographer, coder as well as pioneer of Bitcoin. He died on August 28, 2014, at the age of 58 after battling ALS for five years. He chose to be cryopreserved by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
He has become an early adopter of a science-fictional technology known as human cryopreservation, which is the process of freezing the human body so that it could potentially one day be revived, which could be decades or centuries later. Just after his death, his body was transported from Scottsdale, Arizona to a facility of the cryonics firm Alcor Life Extension Foundation, where his blood and other fluids were removed from his body.
Furthermore, the next step that Alcor took was to replace them with a collection of chemicals called M-22. Regarding these chemicals, the company claims are designed to be as minimally toxic as possible to the tissues of the body and prevent the formulation of ice crystals that could result in the freezing or destruction of the cell membranes.
12. Lose A Key, Lose Everything
One of the key reasons why Bitcoin has gained a high level of appeal is due to the fact that it is fully decentralized, which means that no central authority or third party manages it. This means that banks or other financial institutions are holding onto your data, giving you full control over your cryptocurrency assets.
However, there’s one thing a lot of people don’t really consider, and that is you are the sole owner of that wallet, if you lose your Bitcoin passcode or private key, that cryptocurrency will be gone forever.
You see, in centralized systems, such as Google Mail (Gmail) as an example, when you lose your password, you get presented with the opportunity to click on “Forget Password”. After this occurs you can enter your phone number, answer a security question, or just get a method through which you can reset it.
With the decentralized nature of BTC, you don’t really have that as an option. Forget or lose the password, and it is gone forever, no one can reset it. Sometimes, having full control is a double-edged sword.
Now you know some of the new and interesting facts about Bitcoin. It truly has a wild ride, and being the first cryptocurrency that truly shook the market and brought it to what it is today, all whilst maintaining its dominance at the number one spot has truly cemented it in history forever.