“Blockchain is the tech. Bitcoin is merely the first mainstream manifestation of its potential.”
– Marc Kenigsberg
2008 saw the advent of Bitcoin. At that time, little did the world know that we just experienced the birth of the most innovative, and disruptive, innovation of the century (thanks to Blockchain, the underlying technology providing its driving force). However, as innovative as the bitcoin is, it is shrouded in some awesome fun facts, mystery, obscurity and some conspiracy theories that are yet to be unraveled; this treatise is set to take us on some of them.
Highlighted and explained below are some intriguing fun facts, including mysteries and conspiracy theories that will leave you dazzled about it.
Bitcoin Conspiracy and Mystery
1. Who Created Bitcoin?
According to the Bitcoin white paper, it is claimed to have been created by a mysterious person, or a group of people, referred to as Satoshi Nakamoto. The name, however, is a pseudonym to keep the actual person behind it off the grid. Although, it has been used by the unknown person, or people, in its white paper, and also used in the creation and deployment of its original referenced implementation.
Further delving into the subject matter of who the founder actually is, leads us into even more mysteries as to the origin of the name in Japanese.
2. In Japanese, the name roughly translates into:
Satoshi: clear-thinking, quick-witted, wise
Naka: inside, or relationship
Moto: the foundation
3. Some conspiracy theorists even believe that it was created by 4 tech giants and that the name was derived from the first two letters of the name of the first company, and the first 4 letters of the name of the remaining three companies.
They include …
… to give the name: SATOSHI NAKAMOTO
4. Others even believe that NAKAMOTO was coined from “NATO amok”, roughly translated as:
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
amok: To behave uncontrollably and disruptively
Some conspiracy theorists are inclined to this submission because of the disruptive nature of Bitcoin and due to it not being controlled by any central authority.
Facts about Buying with Bitcoin
Many tales of woes and successes were recorded regarding the early Bitcoin transactions. Some of them include:
5. The first ever Bitcoin transaction was the purchase of 2 pizzas, with 10,000 bitcoin by Hanyecz on May 22nd, 2010, a situation that will most likely be an, “had I known” case, owing to the current value of one bitcoin. Today, this transaction is tagged as the most expensive food order in history.
6. The date Hanyecz made his purchase , May 22nd, is now termed, “Bitcoin Pizza Day” and is celebrated by cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide.
7. Although Bitcoin is decentralized and not controlled by a single entity, some individuals have argued otherwise. This is because 50% of the hashrate—which refers to the amount of computing power needed to mine it—is controlled by 4 major entities, which thus creates a centralized weak point and undermines the operating principle of cryptocurrency. The entities include:
Based on this alone, it is not enough to conclude that Bitcoin is centralized, as other competitors are not relenting.
8. There are some weird things that can be purchased with bitcoin, since the seller accepts it as a mode of payment. Some of them include: a goat, pocket cannon, a webcam show and even a trip to outer space.
9. Bitcoin is built on a distributed, or peer-to-peer, network, so related activities are authenticated and validated by the mass collaboration of individuals within the ecosystem (miners, core developers, investors, merchants etc), and it is powered by collective interests.
10. Just like a cent is the smallest unit of USD, a satoshi is the smallest unit of bitcoin, thus being the smallest denomination with which transactions can be carried out. This unit is referred to as satoshi to serve as a reference to Satoshi Nakamoto, the originator(s) of Bitcoin.
11. There have been debates as to whether Bitcoin is a currency or a commodity. However, the strongest opinion is that it is both, since it can be used to make purchases, just like Hanyecz used it to buy pizza. This makes it a currency, however government agencies like the IRS and SEC regard it as a commodity.
12. Apart from mining, trading and holding Bitcoin, many people today are making a fortune selling Bitcoin graphics cards and mining hardware, being likened to the profit made from the sales of shovels during the California Gold Rush of the 1880s.
13. Bitcoin ATMs are now available worldwide, with the United States having more ATMs than all countries in the world combined; currently, it is estimated that there are more than 2,000 in the United States alone.
14. To carry out a transaction with bitcoin, you have to generate two keys, which are referred to as public and private keys. Both keys are large integer and are usually represented in figures and letters, and without them, transactions can’t be carried out. They..
Bitcoin Lost and Found
There are some very saddening Bitcoin lost cases, as well as happy ones from people finding them.
This leads us to another set of bitcoin facts:
15. 3.79 million of the total bitcoin in transaction has already been lost forever; this amounts to approximately 23% of the total bitcoin in circulation and is worth around a whopping 252 million USD. This massive loss occurs from the mishandling of private and public keys, and losses of digital assets.
16. The largest personal loss of $7,500 USD occurred when James Howell accidentally threw away an old hard drive containing his private keys.
17. The maximum number of bitcoin that will ever be mined, or be existence, is capped at 21 million , of which 17 million are now in existence.
18. The creator(s) of Bitcoin owns around 21 1 million of the total that will ever be in existence.
19. The estimated year that the last bitcoin will be mined is 2140, based on the Bitcoin block having a dividing frequency of four years.
20. It is interesting to note that Bitcoin miners have surpassed 80% of the total number of bitcoins that will be in existence.
21. It has also been recorded that there are more than 23,000 Bitcoin wallet addresses that are holding over one million dollars worth of bitcoin, including Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallet.
22. It is estimated that roughly 20,000 to 200,000 people have made a massive one million dollars in Bitcoin profits, either from trading, mining, sales or even holding for profit.
23. There are lots of predictions with regards to Bitcoin’s death. Totalling 306, they usually occur as a result of heavy crashes in its valuation. Interestingly, you can even generate your own online Bitcoin obituary these days.
24. Here is a shocker: Bitcoin is not the first cryptocurrency. In fact, the award goes to Digicash, which was founded years before Bitcoin came into existence. It was created by David Chaum in 1989 and is also based on cryptographic protocols, but it wasn’t popular.
Emmanuel is a Blockchain technology entrepreneur and an advocate for the adoption, and use of, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). An ex-banker, who has had stints in both commercial and investment banking, when he worked with Zenith and Data Banks respectively, he is currently VP at https://icowatchlist.com/.