12 Insane Bitcoin Facts You Should Know

Last Updated May 15th 2019
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Bitcoin is the original and most popular cryptocurrency currently in use, with a market share of around 40%. Developed in 2009, with the core principle of not requiring a third party or centralised organisation to verify transactions, Bitcoin has revolutionised the way we think about payment. Its accompanying Blockchain technology has also been adopted in many different industries.

Here Trading Education team sums up the 12 Fascinating Facts you may not have previously heard about Bitcoin.

1. We don't know who created it

Although Satoshi Nakamoto has been credited with developing Bitcoin in 2009, we don't know whether this is a pseudonym for a single person or a group of people working on the idea. The likes of Dorian Nakamoto, Craig Steven and Nick Szabo have been credited as inventing the cryptocurrency, while an Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright was arrested in 2015 and accused of being behind Bitcoin. In the same year, 'Nakamoto' was nominated for a Nobel prize for Economics, but if he'd have won, who would have accepted the award?

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2. Transactions can't be reversed

More conventional forms of payment, such as bank transfer, can be tracked and, if needed, reversed. This isn't the case with Bitcoin. Once the money has been sent, you can't recoup it. It's vital, therefore, that you double check the address you're sending the funds to.

3. Transparency is key

All Bitcoin transactions are recorded in the blockchain. This instils a tight sense of security and trust among users of the cryptocurrency.

4. There are a limited number of Bitcoins

When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, he limited the amount of Bitcoin that could be mined to 21 million. Once this supply has been unlocked, no more Bitcoin can be released into the system. However, to avoid the risk of hyperinflation, Bitcoin can be infinitely divided into smaller units.

5. Pizza was the first ever purchase made using Bitcoin!

In May 2010, two Bitcoin users paid for two pizzas, at a total cost of 10,000 Bitcoins. The same amount in 2018 would be worth over $150m, which isn't too far off Domino's' 2017 net income!

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6. If you lose your Bitcoin wallet, you lose your Bitcoins

As with regular money, it's best to store your Bitcoins in a wallet. Rather than being a physical entity, however, this wallet is stored digitally. You can log in and check your balance and also buy Bitcoins from your wallet, depending on your provider. However, you must be careful when it comes to storing the password or key which allows you entry to your digital Bitcoin wallet. If you lose access to your wallet, you'll lose access to your Bitcoins. It's thought that around 20% of the entire Bitcoin supply is 'lost', primarily due to misplaced or stolen keys, or laptops or computers that have been discarded.

7. A unit of Bitcoin is called a 'Satoshi byte'

Just as dollars can be divided into cents and pounds into pence, Bitcoins also have their own denominations, but they're much smaller. Named after the mysterious inventor of the cryptocurrency, 1 Satoshi byte is worth 0.00000001 Bitcoin – a tiny amount!

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8. Bitcoin transactions cost – almost - nothing

Sick of paying service charges to PayPal or your bank? The good news is that Bitcoin transactions can be carried out free of charge because there's no middleman! True, some exchanges charge a small fee, but this is simply to pay those who 'mine' Bitcoin and release it into the system.

9. Bitcoin has been sent to space

In 2016, the cryptocurrency became the first to make it out of the Earth's atmosphere and into space. Cloud provider Genesis Mining tied a Bitcoin paper wallet and a 3D model of Bitcoin to a weather balloon, using a GoPro to track its progress. Successful transactions were carried out at 20 and 34 kilometres altitude.

10. You can't ban Bitcoin

Many governments have tried – and failed! Bolivia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand, among others, have attempted to prevent cryptocurrency trading, citing threats to their financial systems. However, because of the nature of the system, it's virtually impossible to ban altogether – it must be regulated instead. So, while Bitcoin trading and mining is illegal in several countries, it still occurs almost everywhere in the world.

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11. You can use Bitcoin to purchase stuff!

While many people have been attracted to cryptocurrency trading as a way to make a fast buck, it has started to receive mainstream recognition as a way to pay for products and services. Several high street chains now accept Bitcoin payment, including Subway and KFC (in Canada), while Bitcoin has become increasingly popular in the third world with people who don't have access to traditional banks.

12. Bitcoin creates a lot of energy

Bitcoin mining is big business, and it requires vast amounts of computer processing power. Various estimates of just how much CO2 it uses equate to around one million transatlantic flights, or the equivalent of the energy output of the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Hungary or Peru. While Bitcoin has undoubtedly disrupted the technology sector in recent years, its incredibly wasteful process needs to be improved.

Bitcoin should be considered as one of the 21st century's most important technological breakthroughs. Who knows where the cryptocurrency – which has spawned countless imitators – will take us next?

Next up: Is Forex Trading Worth the Risk?

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