Top 10 surprising facts about Bitcoin that you may not have known

1. May 22 celebrates Bitcoin Pizza Day

On May 22, 2010 programmer Laszlo Hanesh paid 10,000 BTC (BTC is an acronym for bitcoin) for two Papa John's pizzas with the help of his friends from Bitcoin Talk forum. His bitcoins were worth $41 then, ten years later they were worth $240 million!

Bitcoin value chart:

2. No one knows who exactly created bitcoin

In 2008, an unknown user (or group of people) under the nickname Satoshi Nakamoto published a report on one of the forums, describing the principles of functioning of the Bitcoin network. The document consisted of only nine pages, and almost everything (except for the last chapter) was comprehensible even to an unprepared reader. Everybody liked the idea... and you already know what happened afterwards.

Nevertheless, even today no one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is, "he" or "she", where he lives or if he is alive.

Why? Most likely, in due time bitcoin's creators decided that keeping bitcoin anonymous would help attract maximum attention to the project. And a truly decentralized currency simply should not have one "leader" or person who has a "red button".

In any case, whoever Satoshi Nakamoto is, he is a true genius.

3. There can only be 21 million bitcoins in the world

Unlike regular money, which governments can print as many as they want (and thus devalue), bitcoins are limited by their creator to a certain number, that's 21 million. New bitcoins appear only as rewards for the labor and expenditure of "miners" (miners). Every few years, twice as many bitcoins come into circulation as before. This will continue until about 2033, when the full limit of 21 million bitcoins will be reached. Currently, nearly 80% of the total number of bitcoins available has been mined. The shortage of cryptocurrency is the main reason the price of bitcoins has skyrocketed in recent years.

4. Mining can heat houses

In the early years of bitcoin, you could even "mine" on a laptop. As time passed more and more serious requirements to mining began to be applied: today mining bitcoins makes sense only if you have ASIC "hardware" (ASIC - integrated circuit specialized for a particular task), cooling systems and cheap electricity. On the other hand, says the English cybersecurity expert nicknamed Zach, everything that could be invented with "iron" has already been invented. So, in full compliance with Moore's Law, ASICs will soon start to become cheaper. And not only will we be able to "make" a "kopeck", but also to heat the house to a comfortable temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.

5. Bitcoin does not physically exist.

However, in 2011, the American company Casascius Bitcoin Mint issued bitcoin metal coins in various denominations (0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10 and 25 bitcoins). The coins were essentially "self-contained wallets" with unique information - a bitcoin address and a secret key hidden by a disposable hologram.  Brass and gold were used as the material for making the coins.

6. You need a wallet.

If you want to not just watch bitcoin, but to pay with it (world map of places, where bitcoins are accepted), then you necessarily need to have a wallet. There are many kinds of them. Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Windows, macOS, Linux. In addition, there are browser-based and hardware-based solutions.

For example, a basic Bitcoin Core, which you can compile from source code if you want and then wait a few days while it synchronizes data with information from the entire BTC network. Hardware wallets are for those who didn't pay 10,000 BTC for two pizzas and kept them for better times. Finally, there are recently appeared 'lightweight' SPV (simplified payment verification) wallets for smart phones, where security is provided with the help of some security features of the device (like Touch ID on iPhone). The latter are probably the best combination of reliability and ease of use. If we talk about specific developments, we can recommend Breadwallet (there are both iOS and Android), but this service charges a commission on transactions.

7. Bitcoin transactions can be made using emoticons

Bitcoin transactions are not the "fiddly" algorithms of traditional financial institutions, but rather the usual instructions for the network. In other words, you can send it via SMS or email. And to hide the transaction from prying eyes, you can use emoticons or even a single picture. Such advantages make bitcoin impervious to government control attempts.

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