A lot has changed since Bitcoin was first introduced by its founder Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Initially met with much skepticism, it has since been recognized as one of the most revolutionary technologies of our time. Today, the bitcoin ecosystem has grown to be worth more than $170 billion, with millions of users and merchants accepting this digital currency all over the world. Even though most of the action happens online these days, there are also many physical places where you can buy or even spend bitcoins in exchange for real goods and services. Here are some fascinating facts about bitcoin that you might not have known yet.
1) Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym
Bitcoin was conceived by a pseudonymous programmer, Satoshi Nakamoto. A lot of people have theorized about who Satoshi Nakamoto is, but no one knows for sure.
2) The first ever transaction was for two pizzas
The first ever bitcoin transaction was for two pizzas. On May 22, 2010, one person on the Bitcointalk forum posted a message saying: I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. A user called Lazlo accepted this offer and sent two pizzas to that address. The exchange rate at the time was $0.0025 per bitcoin.
3) There are only 21 million bitcoins
- There are only 21 million bitcoins in existence, with a maximum of 21 million more possible.
- The bitcoin currency is not controlled by any government or corporation, which means you’re not at the mercy of a centralized institution that can devalue your money to help pay off its debts.
- Bitcoin has no transaction fees, which means you don’t have to worry about paying a fee every time you transfer your money from one account to another.
4) You can buy a Tesla with bitcoin
You can buy a Tesla with bitcoin! In 2013, an anonymous buyer paid for a Tesla Model S using bitcoin. The transaction was facilitated by the Silicon Valley start-up BitPay, which is best known for its ability to let retailers like Newegg and TigerDirect accept bitcoin payments online.
5) Bitcoin is anonymous
Bitcoin is not anonymous, but rather pseudonymous. This means that you are able to buy or sell goods without revealing your identity. Bitcoins are not just for drugs and weapons anymore!
6) Bitcoin isn’t regulated by governments
Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars, bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. As such, it is more resistant to wild inflation and corrupt banks. With these benefits come a few drawbacks: for one thing, because Bitcoin has no central regulatory authority, its value cannot be easily manipulated by governments (which is a plus for some!).
7) The price of bitcoin is volatile
Bitcoin is a relatively new currency and its price is still volatile. It can be difficult to predict what the value of bitcoin will be from day to day or even minute to minute. This means you can take a risk by investing in bitcoin, but there’s also the chance that you could lose your investment quickly.
8) There are different types of bitcoin
Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, which means that it uses encryption to regulate the generation of units. Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an unknown person or people using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Today there are many different types of bitcoin, but all adhere to the same underlying principles.
9) Mining bitcoins uses a lot of energy
Mining bitcoins is an intensive process that requires a lot of energy. The bitcoin mining industry consumes more electricity than the entire country of Ireland. The computers that mine bitcoins need to perform complex calculations to add transaction records to the bitcoin blockchain, and this is an intensive process that generates a great deal of heat.
Additionally, miners are rewarded for their work with new bitcoins, which means they need to purchase hardware specifically designed for mining. This hardware uses even more energy and generates more heat as it works.