Bitcoins: 5 Things You Need To Know

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Srishti Saha Senior Author

In case you’ve been living under a rock – Bitcoins are what the world considers the ‘future of currency’. Decentralised, anonymous, based on proof-of-work, and with the double spending problem solved – Bitcoin was the first digital currency to get all the important stuff right.

Over the past decade, it’s been a crazy ride for the coin. It’s appreciate multiple orders of magnitude, made thousands of people millionairies, funded the online drug trade, and helped people make transactions with a lot more privacy than previously thought possible. Those are the basics though. Simultanouesly, there are plenty of fascinating things about Bitcoin you didn’t know, but would probably want to. Here are 5:

#1 – The Creator Remains Untraced

Bitcoin’s creator, whoever he is, went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi was the one who put out the first bitcoin reference paper, and mined the first ever bitcoins (now called the genesis block). While many have been speculated to be Satoshi Nakamoto, there has been no conclusive proof any claim. As of now, Satoshi’s bitcoin wallet holds 1 million bitcoins – at the time of writing this post, they were worth over $1.5 billion. All of them remain unspent.

#2 – The first ever real-world bitcoin transaction

The first ever real world transaction involving bitcoins was a pizza purchase. In 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz from spent 10,000 BTC on two pizzas. We wonder what he thinks of his decision – in 5 days, the price had risen 1000%. Today, they’d be worth $15 million.

#3 – There’s a finite number of bitcoins that can exist

According to the bitcoin protocol, only 21 million bitcoins can ever be mined. The mining difficulty gets progressively difficult, and it already has gotten tough to the point that ASIC farms are needed to mine these coins. The last bitcoin, at this rate, should be mined around 2140.

#4 – It isn’t as anonymous as you think

While bitcoin was invented with a special focus on anonymity, it isn’t as anonymous as it used to be. Major exchanges now have KYC norms as per government regulations, so your coins and your wallets *can* be traced back to you – but likely only if you’ve been doing something fishy.

#5 – It’s got a lot of market capitalisation to build

Bitcoin’s market capitalisation (the total value of all bitcoins in circulation right now) is upwards of $25 billion. While it’s appreciated by tends of thousands of times since its inception, experts believe the bull run isn’t over yet. Expect the price to hit $3000-4000 in the neat future. Which means it’s still a great idea to get yourself some bitcoins!