Three Unknown Facts about Bitcoin

You probably did not know.

Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash

Even though the world’s first cryptocurrency has been around for twelve years, there are still many facts about Bitcoin unknown by many. This seems ironic as the nature of Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology is transparency. In this post, I will share three facts about Bitcoin that most people, even crypto activated, are not aware of.

So, if you want to show off with some Bitcoin facts, you are in the right place.

Bitcoin’s First Price

It is not a secret that most people have become interested in Bitcoin because of its price performance over the last ten years rather than Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of a decentralized financial system without the need for centralized intermediaries.

We all have heard stories about early adopters who have invested USD 1000 into Bitcoin which turned into a fortune. It is very amusing (or depressing) thinking about what a small investment twelve years ago could have yielded for a profit. But what was Bitcoin’s first price actually?

The question seems trivial, but if you check, the most used source to check cryptocurrency prices, you will not find an answer. The price chart there starts in May 2013 even though Bitcoins genesis block was mined on January 3rd, 2009.

According to the All-Time Bitcoin Price Chart, the first price ever was $0.000764 per Bitcoin published by New Liberty Standard, the first Bitcoin exchange. This means that if you would have invested $1 at that time, you would have received 1309.03 BTC, which is currently worth $25 million.

The First Item purchased with Bitcoin

This fact is a more prominent one, but still, many people, even crypto-activated are not aware of it. I remember participating in a crypto quiz some years ago where one of the questions asked was: “What was the first item to be purchased with Bitcoin?”. There were four answer options: clothes, drugs, pizzas, or pornography.

To be honest, I was shocked by the correct answer. Trying to use my knowledge about the early days of bitcoin where the digital coin was primarily used as a payment method in the dark web my guess was between drugs and pornography.

I was wrong. The first item purchased with Bitcoin was two pizzas. What was more shocking for me was the number of Bitcoins that were paid: 10,000 BTC, which currently are worth $190 million. Yes, if you take the current price of BTC, each pizza would be worth now nearly $100m.

Laszlo Hanyecz was the man who agreed to pay 10,000 Bitcoins for two delivered pizzas in 2010. In a later interview, he said that he does not regret it as he wanted to use Bitcoin as intended by its creator namely as a means of payment. But do not be sad for Laszlo he had purchased more BTC than just the 10,000 worth at that time $41.

The Last Bitcoin

One of Bitcoin’s main value propositions besides its decentralized and censorship-resistant nature, especially during the current pandemic with infinitive quantitative easing, is its limited supply and deflationary nature.

Bitcoins’ maximum supply is fixed at 21 million BTC. Currently, around 18,6 million Bitcoins are in circulation. The first 50 BTC were mined in January 2009 as the first block reward by the infamous Satoshi Nakamoto himself. So, when will the last Bitcoin be mined?

If there will not be a medical breakthrough in the next years, none of us will witness this moment alive as the answer is 2140. This may sound surprising since between 2009–2020, nearly 18.6 million of the 21 million BTC have been mined, why do we need to wait 120 years for the remaining 2.4 million BTC?

The reason for this is Bitcoin’s deflationary nature as block rewards halve every 210,000 block, which is approximately every 4 years. While the first block reward was 50 BTC, we are, after three halvings, at currently 6.25 Bitcoin per block, which eventually will be zero after 2140.

I hope you did not know about these three facts and were as surprised by them as I was. So, next time if somebody claims to be a Bitcoin expert, challenge him with those three facts, let’s see if he knows the answers.

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Three Unknown Facts about Bitcoin was originally published in The Capital on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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