The crypto space has only been around since January 2009 and there is still much that we do not truly understand. Here are some fun facts about Bitcoin and crypto that you probably didn’t know, which probably will not do much to improve your understanding, but are interesting nonetheless.
1. El Salvador was the first country to accept cryptocurrency payments
In June 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. Since then, other countries have also considered accepting it, including Panama, and but this has yet to be implemented. Ukraine were also on the fence about it until the war started in February 2022, which motivated them to legalize cryptocurrency on March, 16 2022 as their need for financial support grew.
2. Bitcoin’s value increased by nearly 613,100% between 2010 – 2021
In October 2021, Bitoin (BTC) reached an all-time high (ATH) of $61,309.60 USD. This means that within just 11 years, the value of this cryptocurrency increased by nearly 613,100%. Such growth is unheard of in any fiat currency, although the extreme reverse was true for the Zimbabwean Dollar due to hyper-inflation which caused the currency to hit an inflation rate of 89,700,000,000,000,000,000,000% between November 2007 – November 2008, making the currency completely worthless and unusable. This is why it as since allowed for the use of South African Rands, US Dollars and other foreign currencies within its economy.
3. Over $3 Billion USD worth of crypto has been stolen in hacks
The above table from Techmonitor demonstrates one of the biggest blocks to widespread cryptocurrency adoption; namely the risk involved in storing your monies in online e-wallets. What is interesting to note about these heists is that in most cases, the exploit was possible due to a weakness in the protocol of an intermediary. Ronin Network was built on the Ethereum network and Poly Network is a cross-chain protocol that connects and allows transactions between multiple blockchains. So too with the Mt.Gox, Kucoin, Coincheck and other exchange platform hacks; it is usually the intermediary rather than the blockchain itself that opens a weakness for adversaries to exploit.
4. Harold ‘Hal’ Finney was the first person to receive a BTC transaction
Finney downloaded the bitcoin software on its release date on January 12, 2009, and was sent 10 BTC from Satoshi Nakamoto himself that very afternoon. He was a member of Cypherphunk and was involved in various cryptographic projects such as anonymous remailers from the 1990s.
5. The FBI has a unit specializing in cryptocurrency crime
In February 2022, the FBI launched a Cyber Crimes Unit called the ‘Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit’ to be specifically tasked with counter-acting cryptocurrency crimes. Part of this includes their contracting a team to produce a cryptocurrency transaction software to trace the movement of the top 95% of cryptocurrencies to more easily track down hackers and other adversaries.
Although the FBI has been successful in foiling or tracking down many fraudsters, including the Silk Road founder. Instead, they auctioned them off. Basically, the FBI/US government does not believe in cryptocurrency.
6. Nearly 74% of United States crypto holders are male
The 2021 ‘State of Crypto’ report published by Gemini states that 74% of cryptocurrency holders are between 25-44 years old, with the 71% being white. Furthermore, their data puts the average cryptocurrency holder’s profile as ‘a 38-year-old male making approximately $111k a year.’ That’s a pretty big gap between white males and other demographics. In fact, the runner up ethnicities are the Hispanic/Latino/Mexican category at 13% and the next being Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders at 10%.
7. Nigeria has the highest rate of cryptocurrency adoption per capita
According to triple-a’s research, around 100 million Indians citizens own cryptocurrency. This represents 7.5% of the country’s population. However, the US’ ownership is higher per capita, as although only 34 million US citizens hold crypto, that represents around 9.8% of the US’ population. However, despite this, neither even fall into the top ten countries in terms of per capita adoption. Surprisingly, as per the statistics provided by staitista.com, Nigeria ranked highest as of 2021.
8. 19 million Bitcoins of the total 21 million have been mined
Many know there is a limited amount of Bitcoin and that only 21 million Bitcoins will ever be in circulation. Of that 21 million BTC, 19,103,493 has been mined, leaving less than 2 million mineable Bitcoins. That means that over 90.9% of the total supply of Bitcoins has been mined. You can track Bitcoins’ circulating supply live.
9. The last Bitcoin will be mined in the year 2140
The Bitcoin mining reward decreases by half every 4 years, the reward which was once 50 Bitcoins in 2009, is now currently 6.25 Bitcoin per block mined. This mechanism was put into place in order to control the supply of BTC. As of 2022, there are an average of 900 Bitcoins mined per day, and the last bitcoin is expected to be mined in 2140.
10. The first Bitcoin payment was for two Papa John pizzas
History was made on May 22nd, 2010, when Laszlo Hanyecz made a post on a popular forum, BitcoinTalk, requesting pizza. Laszlo offered to exchange 10,000 BTC for 2 Papa John pizzas, someone saw his post and came to the rescue, or should we say came to deliver. That marks the first time BTC was used as a payment method, and those 10,000 Bitcoins would be worth roughly $227,064,000 today.
11. There are more than 9,500 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap
CoinMarketCap is a price-tracking index for all your cryptocurrency needs. Want to know the price? Want to know more about projects? Want to know the market cap of a cryptocurrency? You can learn about more than 9,500 cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap. You may not be able to buy them all on an exchange, but they are out there.
12. Dogecoin was created as a joke
The popular meme coin, Dogecoin, was started as a joke to mock the popularity of Bitcoin. Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer launched Dogecoin in 2013 as a way to make fun of BTCs’ speculative value at the time. Ironic as the DOGE community rallied to get the token above $1. The token was named after the popular “doge” meme, and its mascot and logo are modelled after the Shiba Inu dog.
13. The creator of BTC is unknown
Bitcoin whitepaper was first released through a cryptography mailing list in 2008, titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The author credited for the creation of this whitepaper was “Satoshi Nakamoto”, an unknown person or group of people. While he was very active in the initial adoption and development of the project, he was last seen online in 2011 and has remained anonymous to this day. We may never know who the real Satoshi Nakamoto is.
14. The most expensive NFT ever sold was $69.3 million
With NFTs selling for millions, we often lose sight of the big wins for small artists. Beeple is a cryptocurrency artist famed for creating a digital image every day. His highest value NFT sold was “Everydays: the First 5000 Days by Beeple”, which consisted of a collage of 5000 digital images. The artwork was sold for $69.3 million and marks the highest legitimate sale ever made for an NFT.
15. There are more than 38,953 crypto ATMs worldwide
In accordance with a report made by CoinATMRadar, there are currently more than 38,953 crypto ATMs controlled by 603 operators globally. The USA has the highest count of crypto ATMs, providing a total of 35,000 ATMs. Second to the USA, Europe has roughly more than 1,400 crypto ATMs available.
16. 3.79 million BTC is lost
It is predicted that a total of up to 23% of Bitcoins token supply is lost forever, roughly 3.76 million BTC. In a study done by crypto data firm, Chainalysis, they suspect around 23% of BTCs total supply has been lost or is stuck in wallets that are inaccessible. The value of that 3.79 million BTC is equivalent to approximately $87,535,356,000 at the time of writing.
17. HODL does not mean “Hold On For Dear Life”
Many within cryptocurrency have heard of the word HODL, which most assume to be an acronym for “Hold On for Dear Life” but that is not the case. HODL originated in 2013 from a thread within the popular crypto forum, BitcoinTalk. The post was titled “I AM HODLING” where we see a user rant out how he is a bad trader, how his girlfriend is at a lesbian bar, and as he contemplates how the word whisky is spelled. Who would’ve known a drunk misspelling would become an iconic phrase in crypto even 9 years later?
18. Bitcoin is divisible into Satoshis
When you talk about BTC, you may limit it to its whole value of roughly $22,000 or its all-time high of $69,000 but there is more than a single unit. Bitcoins are made up of Satoshis, the same way 100 pence make up a pound. There are one hundred million satoshis in one Bitcoin. With $1 you can buy around 4,341 Satoshis.
19. Liberland has accepted BTC since 2015
Liberland is a micronation established in 2015, located between Croatia and Serbia. In 2015 the micronation announced Bitcoin as its national currency but has since launched its own cryptocurrency under the name Liberland Merit. While El Salvador may get the recognition of being the first country to accept Bitcoin as a national currency, Liberland paved the way as a micronation.
20. The global cryptocurrency market cap hit an all-time high of $3 trillion
As we ride out this current bear market it is important to consider how far we have come and looking back at the global crypto market cap all-time high of $3 trillion, we can appreciate the journey. The current cryptocurrency global market cap is sitting at an estimate of $1 trillion.
21. Bitcoin went to space
In 2016 a massive BTC cloud mining company by the name of Genesis Mining sent BTC to the moon or “space” at least. The stunt was pulled off as a way of spreading awareness about cryptocurrency. The company sent a weather balloon holding a wallet 20kms into the sky, where they would then send a BTC peer-to-peer transaction. This company took “BTC to the moon” quite literally.
22. It takes 10 minutes to mine a Bitcoin
A Bitcoin block takes roughly 10 minutes to mine, with respect to the total mining reward of 6.25 BTC. It is important to keep in mind there are thousands of miners competing for that same reward, and there is a lot of computing power needed in order to receive the reward. But theoretically, you could mine 1 BTC in 10 minutes.
23. Cryptocurrency can not be banned
It is impossible to ban cryptocurrency, in order to do so, a country would have to shut down internet access. Even countries that ban cryptocurrency can only do so by refusing to convert cryptocurrency into a national currency. A regulatory ban would not actually hinder people from sending or receiving cryptocurrency, but simply stop them from depositing and withdrawing it.
24. BTC was created with 31,000 lines of code
While Windows 2000 held over 19 million lines of code, Bitcoin was initially created using only 31,000 lines of code. It took Satoshi Nakamoto over a year to write the 31,000 coded line software, although it has since been further updated and improved upon since 2009. Bitcoin currently hosts 168,000 lines of C++ code.
25. Rapper 50 Cent accepted BTC in 2014
World-renowned rapper and celebrity 50 Cent is regarded as one of the first mainstream artists to adopt cryptocurrency. During the sale of his “Animal Ambition” album in 2014, 50 Cent agreed to accept BTC as a form of payment. It is estimated that 50 Cent pulled in an incredible 700 BTC from sales, equivalent to roughly $15,985,410, although it is unclear if he still has access to these funds.