Happy Birthday Bitcoin: 15 Fun Facts About Leading Cryptocurrency

Jan. 3, 2009 is one of the most important dates in the world. On this day, 15 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), forever changing the world of cryptocurrency.

To celebrate the 15th birthday of Bitcoin, here are 15 fun facts about the cryptocurrency.

1. First Purchase: On May 22, 2010, history was made when Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoin for two pizzas from Papa John's International. The purchase of the two pizzas became the first goods transacted with Bitcoin.

The pizzas cost around $41 at the time. The Bitcoin used to purchase the pizzas would be worth over $460 million today, based on the current price of the cryptocurrency. May 22 is celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day every year.

2. Ethereum Co-Founder Ties To Bitcoin: Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), took a side job in 2011 working for Bitcoin Weekly. As a writer, Buterin was paid 5 Bitcoin for each article written. Later that year, Buterin founded Bitcoin Magazine, where he was the lead writer.

Buterin launched the white paper for Ethereum in late 2013 and officially launched the cryptocurrency on July 30, 2015.

3. Expensive Missing Wallet: James Howells threw out a hard drive in 2013 that contained his digital wallet. The wallet contained 7,500 Bitcoins. Howells, who lives in Wales, is trying to get the local city council to allow him to excavate the landfill in a last-ditch effort to find the hard drive containing the Bitcoin.

Howells has offered a portion of the proceeds to the city if they allow him the chance to search. The Bitcoin lost are worth over $350 million at the time of writing.

Related Link: Bitcoin Flies Past Meme Number $42,069: Could Cryptocurrency Hit $69,420 And Break The Internet?

4. Satoshi Nakamoto Still Anonymous?: The creator of Bitcoin remains anonymous to this date. Craig Wright previously fought in a court case to claim that he created Bitcoin, but many in the cryptocurrency community doubt the claim. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has supported a theory that computer scientist Nick Szabo created Bitcoin. Szabo is one of a dozen or so names including Wright that are often linked to the identity of Nakamoto. The anonymous founder of Bitcoin is estimated to hold between 600,000 and 1.1 million Bitcoin.

5. Bitcoin White Paper: Before the official genesis mint of Bitcoin, there was the idea of the concept that became the cryptocurrency. On Oct. 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto released the whitepaper called "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." The whitepaper laid out themes like timestamped transactions, proof-of-work, privacy and a simplified payment verification method.

"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution," the opening sentence of the whitepaper read. Satoshi's whitepaper is considered required reading for anyone in the cryptocurrency space.

6. Nakamoto Statue: Despite Nakamoto being anonymous, a statue was created to honor the Bitcoin founder and unveiled in September 2021. The Satoshi Nakamoto statue can be found in Graphisoft Park, located in Budapest, Hungary. The statue features Satoshi wearing a hoodie with the Bitcoin logo on its chest. The Nakamoto statue is free to visit 24 hours a day. The group behind the sculpture accepts donations made to their crypto wallets to increase awareness for the project.

"The statue is made of bronze, the face is made of a special bronze-aluminum composite, thus every visitor can see their own face when looking at Satoshi. We are all Satoshi," the statue's website reads.

7. Coinbase Creation: Without the launch of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, many public companies of today that mine cryptocurrency or act as trading platforms might not exist. One of the companies that owes a lot to the creation of Bitcoin is Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN).

Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong said he started the process of creating Coinbase after reading the Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin whitepaper. Armstrong then started coding an early prototype of Coinbase on nights and weekends. Armstrong and many early Coinbase employees opted to be paid a portion of their salary in Bitcoin.

8. Silk Road Shut Down: One of the knocks against Bitcoin over the years has been the usage of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities due to the anonymity of people making transactions. Online black market Silk Road was one of several marketplaces that used Bitcoin for money laundering, illegal drug transactions and other illegal activities.

The U.S. government seized more than 170,000 Bitcoins in 2013. The government sold off the Bitcoins in auctions in 2014 and 2015.

9. Bitcoin as Currency: One of the biggest cryptocurrency stories of 2021 was the announcement by El Salvador that Bitcoin would become an official currency of the country. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced in September that the country purchased 200 Bitcoins and would buy more. The country was the first to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

10. Bitcoin Unit Named After Founder: The smallest unit of Bitcoin is called a Satoshi, in reference to the anonymous creator of the cryptocurrency. One Satoshi is equal to 100 millionth of a Bitcoin. The smaller unit size and name are used to help with smaller transactions.

11. Limited Supply: Nearly 19.6 million Bitcoin have been mined, as of the time of writing. Bitcoin comes with a limited supply of 21 million. After the 21 million Bitcoins are mined, no more will be able to be accumulated through the mining method, leaving only the existing Bitcoin to be bought and sold. This means there are currently around 1.4 million Bitcoin left to be mined.

Estimates call for the last Bitcoin to be mined in 2140, but that number could fluctuate as a rising price of Bitcoin has led more companies to get into Bitcoin mining.

Related Link: Did Henry Ford Predict The Rise Of Bitcoin? 

12. Bitcoin Halving: A Bitcoin halving occurs every 210,000 blocks, which happens roughly every four years. The block rewards get halved as soon as the 210,000th block is mined.

Bitcoin halving is a method put in place for the cryptocurrency to help enforce synthetic price inflation until all Bitcoin have been mined and released. Theoretically, the Bitcoin halvings that occur should make it more expensive to create new Bitcoins and make the cryptocurrency more valuable.

Bitcoin acts opposite of fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar with this method as currencies often lose their purchasing power over time instead of becoming more valuable.

The first Bitcoin halving happened on Nov. 28, 2012, followed by halving events in July 2016 and May 2020.

13. All-Time High In 2021: Bitcoin enjoyed a strong 2021 that saw the cryptocurrency added to the balance sheets of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Block Inc (NYSE:SQ) and other public companies. The cryptocurrency also hit an all-time high of $68,789.63 in 2021. Bitcoin traded at a range of $28,722.76 and $68,789.63 in 2021.

14. Nearly $1 Trillion Market Cap: In 2021, Bitcoin hit a market capitalization of $1 trillion for the first time. The cryptocurrency is the most valuable in the industry, with a market capitalization of $882 billion at the time of writing.

With a market capitalization of $882 billion, Bitcoin would rank eighth when listed with publicly traded companies. The cryptocurrency is currently more valuable than the likes of Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway and Visa.

15. Bitcoin ETFs: One of the top news stories for 2024 surrounding Bitcoin is the pending approval of several Bitcoin ETFs, which come after a federal court ruled against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and directed the regulatory agency to review the application from Grayscale Investments to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC:GBTC) into an ETF.

Several Bitcoin ETFs could be approved in January 2024 and the price of Bitcoin has been rising in recent weeks. While Bitcoin ETFs could be a major win for the cryptocurrency sector, they will likely come more than 10 years after the first Bitcoin ETF was filed.

On July 1, 2013, Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss filed the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust as a planned Bitcoin ETF. The Winklevoss twins saw their initial filing and a second attempt rejected in 2018.

Read Next: EXCLUSIVE: Why Does Cathie Wood Think Bitcoin Is Going To $1 Million — What Does She Know That We Don’t?

Photo: Shutterstock

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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