Bitcoin (BTC) is a surprising phenomenon in itself. It showed us that it is possible to have a digital currency that does not rely on banks or governments. Also, the blockchain technology that makes Bitcoin possible could evolve into a variety of industries, from finance to healthcare. Here are some surprising facts about the world’s first cryptocurrency…
About 20% of bitcoin supply is lost forever
According to crypto data firm Chainalysis, around 20% of Bitcoin was lost or left in inaccessible wallets. Today this equates to 3.76 million BTC (worth around $190 billion). If you’re wondering how this happened, there are several reasons. First, around 1.1 million BTC is held by Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of the largest cryptocurrency, according to Decrypt. The general opinion is that Nakamoto will never touch these BTCs. Also, some people have passed away without sharing access to their Bitcoin, creating another pile of coins that is not in circulation.
Another reason? Lost keys. Crypto keys are like a bank account PIN and you need them to access or exchange your coins. Unfortunately, there is no useful “forgot password” function. Therefore, if you lose your keys, you are unlikely to see those coins again. Hardware crypto wallets (cold wallets) are a secure way to store your crypto offline as it is difficult to hack. However, if you lose the wallet, password or recovery phrase, you may not be able to access your crypto again. And there are several stories of people losing their wallets. In fact, a man in the UK believes his cold wallet containing 7,500 BTC (approximately $380 million) is in his local dumpster and has been trying to get permission to search there for years.
Brock Pierce takes first BTC mortgage in 2019
Brock Pierce, The Mighty Ducks entrepreneur and acting as a child, is said to be the first person to take out an entirely crypto-based mortgage. The crypto enthusiast spent 3 million BTC to purchase a renovated chapel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
More recently, United Wholesale Mortgage in the US announced that it will accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as mortgage payments. It plans to roll out the crypto payment option by the end of the year.
668 million Bitcoin transactions processed
Blockchain. According to com, the total number of Bitcoin transactions since its launch in 2009 is 668 million. This number has increased in recent years. At the time of this writing, an average of 265,714 transactions took place each day.
BTC legalized in El Salvador
Cryptocoin. com, on September 7, El Salvador became the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. Chairman Nayib Bukele announced the controversial move in Bitcoin Miami earlier this year. Bitcoin joins the US dollar as a form of payment in the country, but will not replace it. The government promised that every citizen who opened a national digital wallet would receive $30, but many El Salvadorans protested the entire plan. And the World Bank has refused to help the country with implementation because of environmental and transparency concerns.
The last BTC will be issued in 2140
Only 21 million Bitcoins can be produced. It is embedded in the code or DNA of the cryptocurrency. Currently about 18.8 million have been mined, but some have already disappeared as we saw above. The way Bitcoin mining works is that the number of Bitcoins that can be mined is halved every four years. This means that it will take another 120 years for the remaining 2.2 million cryptocurrencies to be produced, although almost 90% of the total possible Bitcoins are already in circulation.
The first BTC trade was to buy pizza
On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas, which were worth around $41 at the time. This was the first commercial Bitcoin transaction and is now annually commemorated by Bitcoin Pizza day. With today’s prices, 10,000 BTC is worth over $500 million.
There are almost 100,000 Bitcoin millionaires
Because wallets are anonymous and the price of Bitcoin sometimes fluctuates wildly, it’s hard to know for sure how many Bitcoin millionaires or billionaires there are. However, according to BitInfoCharts, there are currently 98,180 addresses with $1 million or more in BTC. Forbes has included 12 cryptocurrency billionaires on its 2021 Billionaires List, including the Winklevoss twins and FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried.