The Strangest Things You May Ever Hear About Bitcoin (Infographic)

Bitcoin is probably the most well-known digital currency today. It’s also one of the most controversial inventions ever used. Millions of people use Bitcoin every day, yet there’s so much that people remain unaware of. That hasn’t stopped others from trying to invest in the coin, which is why there are so many interesting facts to know about Bitcoin. Here are some of the strangest things you may never have heard about the cryptocurrency.

For those of you who don’t know, Bitcoin started out way back in 2008. It was created by a mysterious entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto. To this day, nobody knows who this person/group could be, but it should be said that Satoshi does not own the product. In fact, no organization or person does, it’s all free range amongst the community.

However, Bitcoin is used as a form of currency. It can be traded or converted to other currencies. What makes this odd is that it retains no physical value. You can’t print out bitcoin since it is strictly digitized, Bitcoin was made using C++. The first version was about 14 thousand lines of code, but there are around 77 thousand lines to date. You might think that’s a lot, but it’s still small-scale for programmers. To give you an idea of scale, the Linux software is made up of around 15 million lines of code.

Bitcoin itself has an odd history, for example, Genesis used it as a space explorer back in 2016. A 3D Bitcoin model was tied to a weather balloon and sent into the upper stratosphere.

Bitcoin has been used by famous celebrities, including the Winklevoss twins, Richard Branson, and the technology company Dell, proving perhaps that the use of cryptocurrency is moving into the mainstream.

The digital currency remains a hot topic among countries. Many of them consider it a legal form of payment. This includes Japan, where bitcoin holders are numerous. Over 50% of the Bitcoin trading market is registered in Japanese Yen accounts. That’s one of the reasons why the country accepted Bitcoin as an official form of currency.

Meanwhile, countries like Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Ecuador have banned it as an illegal pay method. A possible reason for this is because all transactions in bitcoin are public. It uses blockchain technology, a digital auditing system that makes permanent records of your accounts. While private information is kept off the net, the blockchain can be seen by anybody.

Still, people find it very convenient. It hasn’t stopped many large organizations worldwide from using it. Lamborghini, for example, is the first car company to let its customers pay with Bitcoin. Another is SkyCraft Airplanes which allows bitcoin holders to purchase their aircraft. Within the same year–2014–Virgin Galactic authorized clients to book their outer space flights (yes, exactly what you read) through Bitcoin.

It’s probably easier to make purchases using bitcoin. The cryptocurrency charges very little to carry out a transaction. You can fill out and send over $1.5M in Bitcoin within ten minutes. Meanwhile, banks and other financial institutes can take weeks to achieve the outcome.

You might be wondering how all that money can be kept safe. Hacking is a serious problem, recognized by both users and exchange platforms. That’s why they prefer cold-storage wallets to deal with it. These are hard drives which are kept offline, to protect the currency. They can’t be hacked, since the criminals have no direct access to them. Some are even stored within safes and guarded facilities.

To access any account, Bitcoin requires private and public keys. A user receives randomly generated ones, which make it easier to protect their account. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten their keys and have lost access which is why 45% of all mined Bitcoin are abandoned and untouched.

If you need help building your account, you have a long way to go. Bitcoin is measured per Satoshi, which is exactly 0.00000001 BTC. It has gained popularity and been used more widely over the years. Last year, the University of Cambridge suggested the number of users for digital cash rose from 2.9 to 5.8 million, most of them engaging in Bitcoin. Users must be careful though, because it cannot be refunded in any transaction.

That’s just one reason why Bitcoin is so precious. Another reason could be that Bitcoin is finite. It totals up to 21 million, and much of that remains to be mined or used. That’s why experts say that it will take until the year 2140 before we successfully mine all of them.

Speaking of mining, did you know that the activity of mining Bitcoins takes up so much energy that Bitcoin itself is registered as the 71st highest energy user, which is higher than the entire country of Iceland. That’s because a Bitcoin mining network is faster than 500 supercomputers combined.

This power is used for mining the coins through digital networks. The process requires each computer to solve several mathematical problems. Each problem relates to a verification code, which pays back the miner in–you guessed it–Bitcoins.

While collecting coins is helpful, it’s the cost of Bitcoin that is strange. Raising the price literally a popularity contest. The more users and transactions, the more expensive it becomes. Because of this, investing in Bitcoin can be tricky. Exchange platforms crashing can put the price at serious risk. This happened in 2014 when MT Gox crashed and brought the price down by 40%.

However, it can also pay off in the long run. There are people who invested $100 back in July of 2010. This price, in Bitcoins, would amount to $18 million by this year. This also happened to Christopher Koch. He invested in bitcoins back in 2009, when they only amounted to $27. He forgot about it until a few years later, which turned out to be a good thing. That’s because his bitcoins had risen to over $800,000 in value.

When it’s at its peak, Bitcoin can change our lives forever. For example, Austin Craig and Beccy Bingham survived for 90 days using only Bitcoin as their currency.

Other interesting future uses have been considered. One use can be for gambling, as was the case for a person named “Nakowa”. He won 11,000 bitcoins through a gambling site, which would now cost over $40 million. Gaming also owes a lot to bitcoin. The largest prize fund for StarCraft 2 was paid out through the currency.

There are other interesting things that Bitcoin pays for. Tuition fees can be covered by Bitcoin, as is allowed by the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus. Music can also be purchased. Mel B, a member of the popular girl group “Spice Girls”, accepts Bitcoin as payment for her music.

You can also buy food for Bitcoin. In fact, the first ever purchase with Bitcoin was for two pizzas. This was made by Laszlo Hanyecz on the 22nd of May, and cost 10K in Bitcoin. Since that day, users have celebrated it as a yearly “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. The trend for buying food hasn’t stopped, as one Subway outlet in the US lets you buy food using Bitcoin. Oddly enough, this is the only outlet in all of the Subway branches that does so.

Bitcoin also harbors a dark side. We mentioned some countries that have banned it, and one of those is Thailand. It had become law by 2013, even though the Bank of Thailand defended its usefulness. What is more confusing is that Bitcoin was designed for regulatory purposes. Therefore, it cannot be completely banned from a country.

This makes it tough for law enforcement, especially since Bitcoin has been used in and for criminal activities. For example, there is an Assassination Market where someone bets with Bitcoin to guess another person’s date of death in the future. Whoever wins receives a Bitcoin reward.

Also Read: In-Demand Careers In Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Another famous incident involves Ross William Ulbricht, better known as Dread Pirate Roberts. He ran an online black market that primarily used Bitcoin, and the FBI launched an operation to stop him. For those wondering how, they seized his assets by having two agents pose as a quarreling couple. While Ulbricht was distracted by them, the FBI copied all his Bitcoin data. To this day, the FBI’s seized Bitcoin wallet is considered the biggest known purse in the entire world.

However, there are also anonymous users who’ve made a living through Bitcoin. One of them is a deep web hacker known as “Phishkingz”, who claimed to have stolen over $1 million by phishing Alphabay accounts. Another group of millionaires live in the Ukraine. This group were kidnappers, who demanded a ransom for a bitcoin analyst they seized. That person was released after they were paid $1 million in bitcoins, on December 30, 2017.

Not all anonymous users are bad, though. One Bitcoiner, nicknamed “Pine”, created a philanthropic project known as the Pineapple Fund. This fund gives away Bitcoin to charity. The person claims to have one of the largest holdings of bitcoin. That might be true since he’s made charitable donations that amount to over $80 million.

With all these tidbits, there is more shocking news: we still haven’t entirely figured out Bitcoin. It could take many years before we finally know all about this invention. The good news is, we are putting it to use even now. It might become the future of our whole society. Check out the infographic below, created by Icowatchlist, to learn more interesting facts about the most famous cryptocurrency of them all!

24 Fun Bitcoin Facts, Stats And Figures (That Will Make Your Head Spin) - infographic

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