7 Minute Read
Jan. 4th, 2019
Written by the Bitbuy Staff
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bitcoin On Bitcoin’s 10th Birthday
As you may have heard, it was recently Bitcoin’s 10th birthday. The mysterious unknown developer who went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto first wrote a whitepaper in late 2008, and 3 months later, implemented the first ever use of blockchain. The first block, and hence the first Bitcoin, was mined on the ‘genesis block’ on January 3, 2009.
Many places online, Bitbuy included, have noted both the release of the whitepaper and the production of the first block as both “birthday’s” of Bitcoin. It’s up for debate as to which one is true Birthday of what has become the most popular and revolutionary digital currency invention of all time. Wherever you land on when the actual birthday of Bitcoin , it can be agreed that the last 10 years of Bitcoin has been a wild ride.
To celebrate Bitcoin’s 10th birthday, we decided to take a look at 10 things you may not know about Bitcoin on it’s 10th birthday. Of course, since we are Bitbuy, an exchange where you can buy and sell cryptocurrency in Canada, we will give it a Canadian spin!
1) Bitcoin was first traded on an exchange at a rate of 1 Bitcoin/0.03 USD.
On cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitbuy, Bitcoin is currently trading for more than $4,000 USD and was trading for more than $20,000 USD at points in 2017. However, in March 2010, only 14 months after the genesis block was mined, an exchange called BitcoinMarket.com, which is now out of business, was selling Bitcoins at a rate of 3 cents per coin. Only a couple pennies could buy you a Bitcoin, and even though there wasn’t a lot of places to spend it, many people capitalized on the low prices and held onto their Bitcoins for years. For us north of the border who were looking to buy bitcoin in Canada, most Canadian exchanges came about in 2013, with names like CAVertex (acquired by Kraken), QuadrigaCX and InstaBT (now Bitbuy).
2) Pizza shops and charity were the first places that accepted Bitcoin.
You have probably heard the story, a developer from Jacksonville, FL named Laszlo Hanyecz made the first real world purchase using by buying two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. The pizza’s were purchased in May 2010, a year and a half into Bitcoin’s existence. In current day prices, it was a $50 million dollar pizza night for old Lazzy boy. Here’s to hoping he got extra pepperoni! While this famous story is brought up often, you may not have known that Bitcoin was accepted elsewhere in early 2011. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading non-profit organization defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation. They started accepting donations in Bitcoin in 2011, and were thought to have generated over $100M in current day priced Bitcoin. In all likelihood, the Bitcoin they received from donations was liquidated soon after it was received.
Bitcoin acceptance has seemed to come in waves, correlating to market price increases. During the 2013 market run-up, large retailers such as Dell, Microsoft, Tiger Direct, Time Inc, Overstock, all started accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment. During the epic bull run of 2017, tens of thousands other companies began accepting Bitcoin. Every local business
3) The Bitcoin Bowl was a real thing
If you are a fan of US college NCAA Football, you know bowl season is the most exciting time of the year, with teams from all over the US squaring off in sponsored bowl games. In 2018, we had the Cheez It Bowl, in 2017 we had the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, and who can forget those epic Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl’s from the 1990’s. Bitcoin payment service provider Bitpay got in on the action in 2014, and signed a deal to be the sponsor of the St Petersburg Bowl. The bowl game was renamed the Bitcoin St. Petersburg bowl, and on December 26th NC State beat UCF by a score of 34-27, in front of a crowd of more than 27,000. What was special about the game was Bitcoin was accepted for ticket and concession sales, and the sponsorship was actually paid for entirely in Bitcoin.
4) Bitcoin was not the first attempt to make a P2P digital currency
Early attempts at Digital Currency were created before Bitcoin. Some of the more famous ones were B-Money, Bit Gold, Hashcash & DigiCash . All of them failed to gain traction for a variety of reasons. Bitcoin was considered a game-changer because it was the first p2p currency built on the idea of decentralization. Decentralization, and the idea of a shared responsibility on a blockchain is something that was truly unique and is credited with driving Bitcoin’s growth. Bitcoin was also perfectly timed, as 2009-2011 were years with severe economic downturn. “Occupy Wall Street” and other movements helped create the need and desire for a decentralized currency that had no government involvement.
After Bitcoin, there was of course the ICO craze of 2017 that created literally thousands of digital currencies. There are now speciality cryptocurrencies for almost every single industry. Unfortunately the ICO crazy was fraught with scams, and underwhelming projects. Because of the bear market, thousands of digital currencies born during the ICO craze died in 2018. Thoughts and prayers to those we lost.
5) In July 2010, Bitcoin spiked 900% in 5 days.
Bitcoin has always been known for it’s volatility, which has attracted investors but also faced criticism from analysts who didn’t see it as viable currency. Very early on in Bitcoin’s existence, this volatility was on display when the the price of bitcoin went from 0.008 USD to 0.08 USD. The reason for the sudden spike was not known, although it was only a few months after the famous 10,000 BTC pizza purchase mentioned previously. The spike would be a sign of things to come as prices rose from $1 to $31 USD in the first half of 2011, then quickly shot back down.
6) For some reason, we sent Bitcoin in space
Yes, you read that right. Genesis Mining, an established cloud mining provider founded in 2013, decided that it was time to blast some Bitcoin into space. In 2016, they tied a plastic Bitcoin, with a paper wallet to a weather balloon and sent it into the sky. Once the weather balloon reached the stratosphere more than 34km to the sky, a transaction was processed sending a Bitcoin to the address. Maybe this where everyone got the famous Bitcoin phrase, “to the moon!”. The entire project was filmed on a GoPro, you can check out the video here, on the Genesis Mining YouTube page.
7. One of the biggest holders of Bitcoin at one point in time was the FBI
The FBI stepped in in 2013 and shut down Silk Road, which was a dark web illegal marketplace that accepted Bitcoin as a primary source of payment. During the shutdown, they seized all known assets of Silk Road, including millions of dollars of Bitcoin. Estimations at the time of seizing were $120 Million, which would have swelled in value significantly during the run up of 2017. Seized assets are typically split up amongst government entities, so it’s likely that millions of dollars of Bitcoin was sold by the FBI during the years the followed Silk Road. Technological advances in blockchain address monitoring have allowed authorities to keep tabs on digital currencies more, and the FBI is consistently checking in on digital currency related industries, activities, and potential scams.
8) There is a Bitcoin Boulevard in the Netherlands
In 2014, the city of Hague, Netherlands started Bitcoin Boulevard. Bitcoin Boulevard was actually two streets alongside a channel, where most businesses accepted Bitcoin. Among the businesses participating were a 5 star Michelin restaurant, a brew pub with over 140 beers on tap, an art gallery, a cafe and a grocery store. Some businesses even gave discounts to anyone who paid with Bitcoin. Bitcoin boulevard proved to be ahead of it’s time, but Amsterdam has led adoption of digital currency in Europe, and is considered to be one of the most Bitcoin friendly city in the entire world as of 2019.
9) The first Bitcoin ATM was in Canada
In 2013, Bitcoin was only 4 years old and was just starting to be adopted by more of a mainstream audience. Several online exchanges existed, including InstaBT, but if you wanted to buy Bitcoin in person, you would likely have to do it in a less than ideal environment. That all changed with the invention of the Bitcoin ATM. Of course, by 2013, cash ATM’s had been around for decades, and people were used to using an electronic terminal to take out or deposit cash. You may not know that the first Bitcoin ATM in the entire world, was installed in none other than our home country of Canada. Vancouver, BC.
Bitcoin ATM’s have since exploded, with thousands across the country. Operators such as LocalCoin, GetCoinHub, and Canada Coins have emerged as leaders in the space, and are
Bitcoin prices in Canada from ATM’s tend to be higher than what you would pay online, but they are a convenient resource if you are looking to get digital currency in a hurry. If you are looking for a Bitcoin ATM in your neighbourhood, try using coin ATM radar.
10) Approximately 36% of Bitcoin is lost
You may know that Bitcoin is scarce as there can only be 21,000,000 Bitcoins mined in total. Bitcoin is even more scarce than originally thought, since it has been calculated that 36% of all Bitcoin has been lost forever. When Bitcoin was in it’s infancy, thousands of early adopters purchased Bitcoin, stored it on a hard drive or hard wallet, then forgot about it and discarded whatever device they were storing it on.
Of course, when prices skyrocketed, we heard about more and more of these horror stories. Thankfully, as the Bitcoin market has matured, so has security and storage solutions. Internet based hot wallets such as Jaxx, or cold storage offline wallets like KeepKey, are great innovations that can help keep your coins safe. If you are looking to learn more about digital currency and security, visit the Bitbuy cryptocurrency information pages.
For more interesting digital currency blog posts, visit The Bitbuy Blog. To sign up for the exciting upcoming exchange Bitbuy Pro, visit the Bitbuy Pro sign up page. To learn more about how to earn money when your friends buy Bitcoin, visit the Bitbuy referral program information page.