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40 Fun & Interesting Bitcoin Facts

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“Bitcoin is a tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants, dressed up as a get-rich-quick scheme,”as a well-known Bitcoiner famously stated.

This is a profound observation, which expresses both the incredible transformative potential of Bitcoin as well as its more obvious appeal to individual self-interest. While its technology is no doubt impressive, perhaps the real genius of Bitcoin is that it works with – rather than against – our flawed human nature, to achieve meaningful change in the world.

The truth is that there’s a whole lot more to Bitcoin than meets the eye, especially for those focused on the get-rich aspect.

Here’s a collection of facts about Bitcoin which may surprise, amuse, or even shock you… Hopefully, you’ll pick up some obscure facts which provide deeper insight into the fascinating world of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Facts

1. The honey badger is no longer Bitcoin’s unofficial animal mascot

In 2021, the Bitcoin community adopted the Bitcoin Zebra as its new mascot. The zebra is a symbol of strength, speed, and agility, all of which are qualities that are associated with Bitcoin.

2. A bug led to the accidental creation of 184 billion BTC in 2010

Known as the value overflow incident, this bug led to the accidental creation of a huge number of coins in August of 2010 at block height 74638. Satoshi or another developer fixed the error within 5 hours of its occurrence by releasing a patched Bitcoin client (version 0.3.10) which ignored the excess coins. As a majority of miners and nodes accepted this new client, the error was “forked out” and erased from the blockchain.

3. The maximum number of bitcoins is still 21 million, but it is now estimated that the last bitcoin will be mined in 2040

This is because the block reward for mining bitcoins is halved every 210,000 blocks, which happens roughly every four years.

4. The smallest unit of bitcoin is now called a “satoshi,” which is equal to 0.00000001 BTC.

This is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.

5. Carnvory is no longer a fad in the Bitcoin community.

In fact, there is a growing movement of vegans and vegetarians in the Bitcoin space. This is due in part to the environmental impact of meat production, as well as the ethical concerns surrounding animal welfare.

Bitcoiners like their stake like their money; rare!

6. You can no longer run Ethereum smart contracts on top of Bitcoin

The Rootstock project was discontinued in 2020.

7. Bitcoin’s uptime is still in the coveted “four nines” range.

In other words, the network has been functional for 99.99% of the time since its creation over 13 years ago.

8. The downtime that occurred in 2013 was due to a bug in the LevelDB database, which is used to store the blockchain

The bug was fixed and the network has been running smoothly ever since.

9. Satoshi Nakamoto’s disappearance is still a mystery.

There are many theories about what happened to him, but no one knows for sure.

10. Bitcoin was used to circumvent the WikiLeaks banking blockade in 2011

This led to the creation of the Bitcoin Foundation, which was formed to promote Bitcoin and its use as a censorship-resistant currency.

11. Julian Assange did thank the banking blockade for forcing WikiLeaks to hold Bitcoin

He said that it was “one of the best things that ever happened to us.”

12. Bitcoin faucets were originally created to dispense 5 BTC per visitor

an incredible amount given today’s value.

13. Bitcoin Core, the main reference client for Bitcoin

benefits from the contributions of over 366 talented coders who freely contribute to its development.

14. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Bitcoin usage

around 90%, is unrelated to illicit activities. The DEA has confirmed that Bitcoin is only used about 10% for criminal purposes.

15. The Silk Road darknet investigation, infamous for its drug trade

led to the imprisonment of two former Secret Service agents involved in shutting it down.

With only around 17 million bitcoins in existence, there are fewer bitcoins than millionaires worldwide. Coinmama enables individuals to join the “21 million club” by purchasing Bitcoin, a limited and valuable asset.

17. There are around 70 forks of Bitcoin

Bitcoin has seen numerous forks, with over 70 altcoins branching off from the original.

18. Bitcoin mining consumes about as much energy as a mid-size country

Bitcoin mining consumes a significant amount of energy, comparable to that of a mid-size country. However, the industry is gradually transitioning to renewable energy sources.

19. The economist Milton Friedman predicted Bitcoin

The economist Milton Friedman predicted the concept of a decentralized digital currency similar to Bitcoin back in 1999.

20. The average Bitcoiner is a male European or American between 25 to 34 years of age

While data from 2013 to 2015 suggests that the average Bitcoin user is a male between 25 to 34 years old from Europe or America, the Bitcoin community is diverse and constantly evolving.

(Taken from

21. The politics of Bitcoiners is probably somewhat right-leaning

Bitcoiners tend to lean towards right-leaning political ideologies, aligning with principles of libertarianism and crypto-anarchism.

22. The first recorded Bitcoin transaction involved the purchase of pizzas

In 2010, a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz made history by trading 10,000 bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizzas. At the time, the value of the bitcoins was around $25. This transaction took place through a discussion on the BitcoinTalk forum, where Laszlo arranged the trade with another user. Today, Bitcoiners worldwide commemorate this event, known as “Bitcoin Pizza Day,” on May 22nd each year.

23. Bitcoin Pizza Day was celebrated again in February 2018

Laszlo Hanyecz made another notable pizza purchase using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network in February 2018. The Lightning Network, despite still being a relatively new technology with some challenges, was considered a groundbreaking solution for faster and more scalable Bitcoin transactions at the time.

24. Bitcoin Core’s initial sync time has improved despite the growing blockchain

The Initial Blockchain Download (IBD) refers to the time required for a newly-installed full Bitcoin wallet to download and verify the entire blockchain. Remarkably, Bitcoin Core’s IBD process has become faster with successive software updates, despite the blockchain growing by hundreds of megabytes each day. This improvement can be attributed to the implementation of numerous optimizations by the Bitcoin Core development team over the years.

25. A Bitcoin developer played a crucial role in preventing a chain split in Bitcoin Cash

In April 2018, Cory Fields, a Bitcoin Core developer since 2013, discovered a potentially critical flaw in the Bitcoin Cash code. He privately alerted the Bitcoin Cash developers about this issue, which, if exploited, could have led to a chain split within the Bitcoin Cash network. Instead of claiming the $100,000 bug bounty reward offered, Fields requested that it be donated to charity.

26. Bitcoin’s Lightning Network enables high transaction throughput

Transaction throughput, often measured in transactions per second (TPS), plays a vital role in determining the scalability of a cryptocurrency. While Bitcoin’s blockchain design limits its TPS to double digits, credit card systems like VISA can process around 45,000 TPS. However, Bitcoin addresses this scalability challenge with the Lightning Network, an additional layer built on top of the blockchain. The Lightning Network retains the decentralized and secure properties of the underlying blockchain while significantly expanding the potential TPS to millions or even billions.

27. Venezuelans turn to Bitcoin mining amidst economic collapse

Venezuela’s economic failure, resource scarcity, and hyperinflation have resulted in a dire situation for its citizens. Some Venezuelans have turned to mining Bitcoin as a means of survival. Due to government subsidies, electricity prices in Venezuela are among the cheapest in the world, making it feasible for those with access to mining equipment to mine Bitcoin and earn enough to support themselves.

However, the government has taken measures to crack down on this practice, although there have been credible reports of government officials using confiscated ASIC miners for their own benefit.

28. Former Bitcoin Core developer Mike Hearn’s departure and criticism

In 2016, Mike Hearn, a former Bitcoin Core developer, gained attention for his departure from the Bitcoin development community. He expressed discontentment with the direction of Bitcoin’s development, particularly regarding the proposed scaling solutions. In January 2014, Hearn wrote a comprehensive article announcing his decision to leave, which received mixed reactions within the community. Some referred to his departure as a “ragequit,” highlighting the strong differences in opinion.

29. Satoshi Nakamoto’s initial assumptions and the emergence of mining pools and ASIC hardware

When Satoshi Nakamoto designed Bitcoin, he envisioned the currency being mined on users’ CPUs. However, as the network grew and mining became more competitive, it became apparent

30. In 2014, the (GigaHash) pool achieved 51% of total hashrate

Any miner or pool with a majority of hashrate is in a position to attack the network through various means, such as censoring or double-spending transactions. This is known as a 51% attack and is one of Bitcoin’s known vulnerabilities.

In mid-2014, the GHash pool exceeded this hashrate threshold. Although GHash promised not to act maliciously, its dominance caused a great deal of unease among Bitcoiners, who live by the motto of “don’t trust, verify.” Many pool members subsequently abandoned GHash as the pool suffered a major DDoS attack. GHash is no longer a significant player.

32. Bitcoin’s blockchain is beamed to the whole world via satellites

One potential attack on Bitcoin would be to shut down the internet, or take some action to the transmission of Bitcoin data over the internet. This attack has been neutralized by the Blockstream Satellite project, which beams blockchain data to Earth.

Areas currently without coverage are shaded in white.

The satellites cover 4 regions; North and South America, Africa, and Europe. Phase 2 will see coverage expand to cover the entire globe. A satellite dish is required to receive the transmission and some other method, such as radio, is necessary to broadcast transactions to the network.

33. Candidate for Satoshi 1: Hal Finney

Hal Finney, one of the original cypherpunks, was the first person besides Satoshi to run a Bitcoin wallet, mine, and receive bitcoins over the network. Sadly, Hal passed away in 2014. He was involved in improving Bitcoin’s code to the end. His final address to the Bitcoin community is well worth a read.

People speculate that Hal may have been Satoshi due to his early involvement, as well as his coding and cryptographic skills.

34. Candidate for Satoshi 2: Nick Szabo

Another early cypherpunk, Nick Szabo created a decentralized monetary system in 1998 known as Bit Gold. This system is considered a precursor to Bitcoin. Nick developed the concept of smart contracts, which are used by Bitcoin and other cryptos. He is knowledgeable across multiple fields, including computer science, cryptography, and law. His blog makes for fascinating reading.

People speculate that Szabo is Satoshi due to his Bit Gold project and interest in smart contracts.

35. Candidate for Satoshi 3: Wei Dai

Wei Dai was another cypherpunk, who created an alternative monetary system known as b-money, which was similar in concept to Bitcoin. Wei Dai is a computer engineer who conducted cryptographic research for Microsoft and made several advancements in the field.

People speculate that Wei Dai could be Satoshi, due to his b-money project and cryptographic skills, as well as his private nature.

35. Candidate for Satoshi 4: Adam Back

Another strong possibility for Satoshi Nakomoto is the cryptographer and cypherpunk, Adam Back. Adam currently runs the Bitcoin-based software company, Blockstream (mentioned in point 32). He was attributed in Satoshi’s white paper, as the inventor of the Hashcash system upon which Bitcoin’s Proof of Work mining is based.

People speculate that Adam Back may be Satoshi due to his leading role in Blockstream and invention of Hashcash.

Other candidates for Satoshi include Ian Grigg, Tim May, and many more…

36. It’s possible that Satoshi Nakomoto was a Group

Another tantalizing possibility is that some or all of the above-mentioned individuals collaborated to create Bitcoin under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakomoto. Stylometric analysis has been used to compare the writing style of each person to the known writings of Satoshi, including the Bitcoin white paper, various emails, and forum posts. An interesting degree of similarity has been found…

37. Bitcoin private keys are integers between 1 and 1077

If you were able to make a trillion guesses per second, you’d have to guess for about 3.3 decillion (1033) years to find the private key to a particular Bitcoin address. Of course it’s always possible that scientific advances, such as quantum computing, could make it feasible to crack a Bitcoin address. In this case, Bitcoin would have to hard fork to quantum-resistant cryptography.

The following infographic helps to give an idea of the difficulty of brute-forcing a Bitcoin private key:

38. Bitcoin’s hashrate is currently at 61 exahash (EH/s)

That’s 61 quintillion (1018) hashes per second. Expressed in plain numbers, Bitcoin’s total network hashrate is about 55,000,000,000,000,000,000 hashes per second.

There are roughly 7.5 quintillion grains of sand on the planet, so Bitcoin miners are performing over 7 times more calculations in each second than there are grains of sand. Hashrate shows no sign of decreasing either. You can check the latest hashrate estimate on BitcoinWisdom.

39. A Bitcoiner advertised Bitcoin during former Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech

The prankster held up a sign reading “Buy Bitcoin” as she was delivering her testimony before the House Financial Services panel in mid-2017. It was a funny moment as the event was being broadcast live. The Bitcoin community identified the sign-holder and sent him a donation of $10,000.

40. Since 2017, Bitcoin has had higher annual transaction values than PayPal

According to a cryptocurrency analyst, Bitcoin has surpassed the PayPal and Discover payment networks in terms of annual processed value. In 2017, Bitcoin processed roughly $1 trillion in value and is set to exceed that total in 2018. The next milestones in terms of transaction value are the major credit card processors, which process multi-trillion Dollar amounts.

Note that this chart is log scale.

  1. How is the Bitcoin community addressing environmental concerns related to mining? The Bitcoin community has become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of mining. Initiatives like the Bitcoin Mining Council and the shift towards using renewable energy sources demonstrate the community’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining. Additionally, there’s a growing emphasis on developing more energy-efficient mining hardware.
  2. What are the implications of Bitcoin’s limited supply on its future value? Bitcoin’s capped supply at 21 million coins is a fundamental aspect that underpins its value proposition as “digital gold.” This scarcity is anticipated to contribute to Bitcoin’s value over time, especially as demand increases in the face of decreasing supply issuance due to halving events. However, market dynamics are complex, and Bitcoin’s value will continue to be influenced by a variety of factors, including adoption rates, regulatory developments, and broader economic conditions.
  3. How does the Lightning Network improve Bitcoin’s scalability and transaction speed? The Lightning Network is a second-layer protocol that operates on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, enabling faster and more cost-effective transactions. It allows for the creation of a network of payment channels where transactions can occur off-chain, significantly increasing the transaction throughput while reducing the burden on the main blockchain. This innovation addresses Bitcoin’s scalability challenges, making it more feasible for everyday transactions and microtransactions.

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