Bitcoin, the buzzword that's been filling up the financial and tech industries for the past 12 months. Although it may seem like it's a new thing, Bitcoin has actually been around since the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto brought it into the world in 2009. It's only recently that its popularity has soared - undoubtedly by the fact that the price has increased dramatically over the past 12 months.
Here are some interesting facts about the "king of cryptocurrencies".
Fact 1: One of the first Bitcoin purchases was for pizza! Two people on a Bitcoin internet forum made a deal to exchange a whopping 10,000 BTC for 2 Papa Johns pizzas. The value of those Bitcoins reached nearly an eye-watering $200,000,000 at Bitcoins highest price so far in December of 2017. Hopefully those pizzas were worth it! It is not know whether the receiver of the Bitcoin held onto them for all these years or sold them off.
While some people would be feeling massively depressed over paying what could be $200mil for some pizza, it's said by others that without cases like this where Bitcoin was proven to work as a currency, it may not have become what it has in the first place.
Fact 2: There will only ever be 21,000,000 Bitcoin created. Unlike traditional fiat currencies that can be printed at will, Bitcoin's supply is strictly capped at 21 million coins. The last Bitcoin will be mined in the year 2140. At present with the amount of people in the world, there is only enough Bitcoin for each person to have 0.0022 BTC each - and that's not even taking into account all of the thousands of Bitcoin that have been lost over the years - people throwing away hard drives with thousands of BTC or people formatting their computer that held their coins. There isn't even enough Bitcoin for each millionaire in the world to own a whole coin. No doubt their scarcity is one of the attractions of owning Bitcoin.
Fact 3: In 2013, the FBI made a whopping $48,000,000 by auctioning of the seized Bitcoin from the infamous Silk Road dark marketplace. It is reported that a lot of those coins were sold to the Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper - the same person who predicts the price of a single coin will reach in excess of $250,000.
Fact 4: You don't need to own a whole Bitcoin. Despite what some people think, you do not need to purchase whole coin to invest in Bitcoin. One of Bitcoin's advantages is that it is divisible down to 8 decimal points. So you could own 0.00000001 or 0.0001 of a Bitcoin if you wanted - meaning it would cost just a few dollars to get your first piece of Bitcoin. It is said by some that the decimal place may have to change in the future if it is to be used more commonly as a currency as people might not like dealing with such low fractions of a coin.
Fact 5: Bitcoin is traceable. Much of the media uninformed people will have you think that Bitcoin is an untraceable currency that makes it attractive for money launderers and cybercriminals - this is simply not true as every transaction that Bitcoin has ever made is fully visible on the blockchain on sites like blockchain.info. There are of course other coins which are untraceable - called Privacy Coins, with Monero have the largest market cap share.
Fact 6: You cannot revers a Bitcoin transaction. Unlike credit cards and other online payment services, you cannot reverse any Bitcoin that have been sent. The receiver would need to actually send the Bitcoin back to the sender if the sender wished to get it back. This makes it a great choice for online merchants to receive Bitcoin as it completely eliminates the risk of receiving fraudulent chargebacks.
There you have it, 6 interesting Bitcoin facts that you can impress your friends and colleagues with!