With all of the news about cryptocurrencies today, the number of people looking for facts about Bitcoin and other alternative currencies is only increasing. Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency to be adopted worldwide, and allows peer-to-peer transactions to take place between users using blockchain technology. This site is designed to provide the latest information regarding Bitcoin and other altcoins like Litecoin and more to help users learn, use, and adopt the latest in crypto currencies available on the market. Since Bitcoin was first released as open-source software in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto (an anonymous person or group of people), it has skyrocketed in value and popularity. Today, there are more than five million unique users world-wide (and growing) who are making the choice to use Bitcoin for both speculative investment as well as to conduct business, and the popularity continues to grow.
Who Coined the Word, Bitcoin?
The term “Bitcoin” was first coined in a white paper published on October 31st, 2008. Since that time, there has not been an agreed upon convention for how to capitalize the word. Over time, the capitalized version of the word has come to refer to the technology and network while the lower case refers to the unit of measure. The Oxford English dictionary recommends using lowercase for the word in all cases.
What is the Bitcoin Unit of Measure?
The unit of measure or more properly, the unit of account in the bitcoin system is the bitcoin. Starting in 2014, there were tickers assigned to bitcoin, BTC and XBT specifically. The smaller units of measure that are used with Bitcoin and more commonly on Bitcoin Faucet Websites are the millibitcoin and the satoshi (in honor of the bitcoin creator). One satoshi is the smallest amount within bitcoin representing 0.00000001 bitcoin, one hundred millionth of a bitcoin. If you are working in millibitcoins, one is equivalent to 0.001 bitcoin, one thousandth of a bitcoin or 100,000 satoshis.
History of Bitcoin
The history of Bitcoin dates back to August 18th, 2008 when the domain, bitcoin.org was first registered. A few months later, the site contained a link to a paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto. The paper was titled, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and was also posted to a mailing list. Nakamoto went on to implement the software as open source code and released it in January 209. This was with the network came into existence after Nakamoto mined the first block on the chain, also known as the genesis block, that provided 50 bitcoins. To date, the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown. Since the first block was mined, the following text was embedded in the coinbase of the block:
“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
Who Received the First Bitcoin Transaction?
The first person to receive a bitcoin transaction was programmer, Hal Finney. He downloaded the software the day that it was released and received a total of 10 bitcoins from Nakamoto in the first recorded transaction.
How Many Bitcoins Did Nakamoto Mine?
In the early time of the Bitcoin network, Nakamoto mined around one million bitcoins. In 2010, he (or she) transferred the network alert key and control of the Bitcoin Core programming code repository to Gavin Andersen who would later become the head developer at the Bitcoin Foundation. After this, Nakamoto would no longer be involved in the project. During this timeframe of Bitcoins history, the value of transactions was negotiated by individuals on the bitcointalk forums. In this timeframe, it is noted that a transaction of 10,000 BTC was used to buy two pizzas from Papa Johns (indirectly).
Vulnerabilities in the Bitcoin Protocol
On August 6th, 2010, a significant vulnerability in the bitcoin protocol was discovered. This vulnerability found that transactions were not properly verified before being included in the blockchain. This would let end-users bypass the economic restrictions on bitcoin and make an indefinite number of bitcoins. Less than two weeks later on August 15th, the vulnerability was exploited with more than 184 billion bitcoins being created in a single transaction and sent to two addresses on the network. The transaction was discovered within a few hours and then erased from the transaction log once the bug was fixed and the network was then forked to an updated version of the bitcoin protocol. In 2017, a hard fork of bitcoin core was created, known as Bitcoin Cash. The fork includes an identical blockchain at the time of the fork and a larger blocksize limit.
What is a Blockchain?
If you are new to reading about or learning about bitcoin, then you have probably seen the term, blockchain, thrown around. If you are not sure what it is, a blockchain refers to a public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. In the case of bitcoin, this is done in a decentralized manner with the maintenance of the blockchain being performed by a network of communicating nodes that run the bitcoin software. When someone buys or sells bitcoins with another, the transactions are sent to the network which has its nodes validate the transactions and add them to their copy of the ledger. These are then transmitted to the other nodes on the network. The blockchain is a distributed database that helps achieve independent verification of the chain of ownership of all bitcoin accounts. For the Bitcoin network, a new group of accepted transactions, or block, is added to the blockchain and published to all of the nodes.
What’s the Easiest Way to Exchange Crypto Currencies?
If you are into speculating or investing in the various alternative coins out there like Litecoin, Ethereum, and more, then one of the easiest ways to exchange the currencies without going crazy is to use a service like Changelly. You will need to make sure that you have an appropriate wallet of the destination currency to save the transaction before getting started; however, the process is very straight forward and easy to use.
How Many Bitcoins are in Circulation?
The maximum number of bitcoins that can be created is set to 21 million and will be reached in 2140. The total number of bitcoin in circulation is updated approximately every 10 minutes, and the rate of bitcoin generation is dropped by half approximately every four years until all 21 million are in circulation. As of the summer of 2017, there were approximately 16,366,275 bitcoins in existence. Stay tuned for the latest news, information, and more regarding Bitcoin and the other popular alternative coins in use today.
How Can You Get Started Buying Bitcoin?
If you live in the United States, the easiest way to get started with buying bitcoin, litecoin, and more is to signup for a free account at Coinbase here. If you buy or sell $100 or more of digital currency then you will get $10 free of bitcoin (and we will too!) until the company discontinues their offer. Enjoy!
Neat Bitcoin Facts
Here are some additional facts about bitcoin that you will find interesting (hopefully!).
What was the First “Normal” Thing Bought with Bitcoin?
After Hal Finney and Satoshi completed their transaction in 2009, the first record purchase of “something” with the crypto currency was for $25 USD worth of pizza. At the time, 10,000 bitcoins were used to purchase the two pizzas.
Bitcoin has been in Outer Space
Genesis Mining sent bitcoin to space in 2016. The company did this by using a 3D bitcoin model, bitcoin paper wallet, and tied both to a weather balloon. They recorded the journey with a GoPro cameral and once it made it to the height of 20 kilometers, the transaction was made to the paper wallet. Once the balloon got to 34 kilometers, the team conducted another transaction (at the maximum altitude).
The FBI has One of the Largest Bitcoin Wallets
When the FBI shut down the original Silk Road, they also seized the owner’s assets to include his bitcoin wallet. According to Wired Magazine, the value of the wallet is in excess of $120 million USD.
Bitcoin Transfers Can’t be Taken Back
Unlike a Paypal or other banking transaction, once someone transfers bitcoins they can’t be taken back. That is why two factor authentication is strongly recommended (and even required on some platforms).
Sender and Receiver Details are Hidden
All bitcoin addresses consist of 34 alpha numeric characters that do not provide any personal identifying information.
If You Lose Your Bitcoin Wallet, You Lose the Bitcoins
Similar to losing cash, if you lose your bitcoin wallet, the contents are lost forever.