The bitcoin craze has brought a lot of attention to the cryptocurrency market. With cryptocurrency looking to some like the new gold rush, almost everyone seems to be wanting to get in on the action. But how much do you actually know about this digital currency? To make things interesting, we've uncovered three crazy facts for your reading pleasure.
1 - The First Major Bitcoin Trade was for Pizza:
In 2010, a programmer named Laszlo paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two Papa John's pizzas. Based on today's exchange rate, that would be worth more than $400 million dollars. The story goes that Laszlo posted online asking someone would be willing to buy him pizza and if he could pay them with Bitcoins.
It all started with this post: "I'll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later."
The now-famous event is celebrated every year on May 22 as Bitcoin pizza day. At that time, Bitcoin was worth significantly less than it is today – the entire 10,000 bitcoins were only worth an estimated $41 USD.
So Laszlo got himself $25 dollars worth of pizza! While it may not feel worth it today, this trade is considered one of the most important transactions in the history of Bitcoin. If this trade hadn’t taken place, Bitcoin might not have been as established as it is today. So next time bitcoin pizza day rolls around, why not celebrate with a few slices and maybe add a little bitcoin to your stack.
2 - We've got it all wrong:
Many people had assumed that cryptocurrency was completely anonymous, which would make it super easy to launder money and stay under the radar of the authorities. However, a little research can show this is actually not true at all as Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies are pseudo-anonymous as every transaction is recorded on a public ledger. While wallets or transactions don’t come with a visible identifier, the information they can provide can sometimes be linked to the owner of a particular wallet.
With some more advanced investigation, you can track transactions on the blockchain (the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) using a process called 'clustering' – and with some clever detective work, you can find out who's doing what very easily in some cases. While for those with a public ledger, you should never consider your transactions truly private.
So while you may have thought we were getting one over on the system, in fact, the opposite may have happened! However, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a public ledger are designed with transparency in mind, so the next time someone says Bitcoin is for criminals, you can tell them it’s only stupid ones!
3 - It's Evolved Into Something New:
We've already mentioned how cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology - but did you know cryptocurrencies are themselves… evolving? For example, developers have been creating new digital currencies and improving existing ones that make blockchain technology even more secure, useful, or efficient. In some cases to do this, they're calling on a process called a 'hard fork' – where a new cryptocurrency is split from an existing one or a significant upgrade can take place without having to start from scratch, effectively starting as a fresh entity with the full history of the previous one. This is why you might see articles about cryptocurrencies splitting or hard forking to implement upgrades like Segregated Witness (SegWit).
Some experts believe there's going to be a big rush towards this kind of technology soon, and many more believe this is already underway – so watch out for some exciting developments! There are so many interesting things to learn about cryptocurrency. With so many things happening every day, why not spend a little time investigating all the groundbreaking developments that are taking place.
If you want to read up more on cryptocurrency before delving into your own cyber adventure, why not check out this article about buying bitcoin and find out why so many people are still jumping in on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. And remember, once you've got your digital wallet set up and your first coins purchased to keep an eye on the market – because we all know what they say about past performance and future prediction!