The father of Bitcoin, how to store it or make a transaction with it, ATMs, and all the answers to your questions
I have never denied that it took several months for me to start pinching the crumbs. To make it a little easier for you, I have collected ten exciting things about Bitcoin that can make you understand better.
1. Satoshi Nakamoto, the father of Bitcoin
Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator of Bitcoin, but the identity of Nakamoto is unknown.
People suspect that a man of Japanese-American origin from Temple City, Los Angeles named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, is Bitcoin’s father. There are a couple of coincidences that have led to this suspicion. For example, a computer scientist Hal Finney, who accidentally is his neighbor, was the first to receive Bitcoin transactions. But as Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto denied it time and again, we are yet to discover Bitcoin’s creator’s true identity.
Some conspiracy theorists believe that four tech giants created it, and the name was derived from the first two letters of the name of the first company and the first four letters of the name of the remaining three companies.
2. A Bitcoin ‘Whitepaper’ was published in 2008
The Bitcoin whitepaper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, was published in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto. This is made possible by Satoshi Nakamoto’s groundbreaking work published in 2008, which outlines what Bitcoin is and how it works, as presented in the original Bitcoin whitepaper.
In his introduction, he writes that ‘internet commerce relies almost exclusively on financial institutions as trusted third parties in the processing of electronic payments.’
In contrast, Bitcoin is an electronic, purely peer-to-peer cash, which would make it possible to send the online payments between the parties concerned without the need to make use of a financial institution.
“Interestingly, imagine a precious metal that is as scarce as gold, but has the following properties: dull, gray in color, does not conduct electricity well, is not particularly strong […], cannot be used for any practical or decorative purpose… but it has a special and magical feature: it can be delivered via communication channel ”- NakamotoSatoshi Nakamoto
3. Bitcoin Pizza Day, 22 May
Laszlo Hanyecz is the first known person who used Bitcoin in a commercial transaction on 22nd May 2010, nowadays celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day.
Bitcoin was a little over a year old at that time, and he paid 10,000BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas. The two pizzas he received cost a mere $25, while 10,000 Bitcoins were valued at about $41.
Today those pizzas are the most expensive dough ever sold, worth $462.574.000. Insane, right?
Actually, it was a very influential – now historical – moment for cryptocurrencies as without this same transaction which gave value for Bitcoin, maybe Bitcoin would be worth nothing today.
4. The maximum amount is 21 million
The maximum and total amount of Bitcoins that can ever exist is 21 million. There are currently 18 615 981,25 Bitcoins in existence.
If you wonder how much the Master himself could own, some estimate Satoshi has around 900,000 Bitcoins (BTC). However, this number is heavily debated, though, as some claim he has approximately 300,000 BTC.
However, Bitcoin is not printed but ‘discovered.’ Competing with each other, millions of computers worldwide are mining. Mining, of course, means non-traditional mining for Bitcoin.
Compared to the current electronic money system, this looks like when, for example, paying with a credit card somewhere, this transaction needs to be recorded and verified. This is done by the card issuer (Visa, MasterCard, etc.). Thus, all transactions in the current banking system are recorded in a centralized system. As a result, this system is quite sensitive to manipulation.
In contrast, in the case of Bitcoin, there is no centralized system that approves transactions. This work is done by the miners, whose reward is Bitcoin.
5. Stored in a digital wallet
Bitcoin is stored in so-called digital wallets.
A Bitcoin wallet is a program for sending and receiving Bitcoins. The wallet does this by interacting with Bitcoin’s ledger, the blockchain.
You can picture this just as email works. You need a program – like Gmail – if you want to send and receive emails. The situation is the same with Bitcoins. You need a unique personal address to receive Bitcoins, called the Bitcoin address. For receiving Bitcoins, share it with anyone who wants to send you some Bitcoins.
Bitcoin address looks like this: 1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2
For your email address, you can choose a password but not with a Bitcoin wallet. For a Bitcoin wallet, it is randomly selected by the system. This password is called your private key, and—similar to your email password—it should never be shared with anyone.
6. The first decentralized digital currency
But what does it mean?
Fiat currency, aka money, represents value. We give or receive money in exchange for the value (goods, services, etc.) we get back for it, right? But for a piece of paper or a metal coin, people have to trust that it really represents value. And so eventually, people trust the government backing money.
Bitcoin being decentralized means no government or state is backing it but a perfectly designed computer program. It is controlled by everyone who uses Bitcoin as the software being used for transactions logs and validates who log and validates the Bitcoins’ activities worldwide.
7. Nearly 14,000 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide
In March 2015, the number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide was 348. That number today is nearly 14 thousand.
Most Bitcoin ATMs were registered in the United States by July 2020. Overall, about 83 percent of ATMs are concentrated in North America.
There are two main types of ATMs: the basic ones, which allow users to purchase Bitcoin, and the more complex ones, allowing them to buy and sell.
8. Bitcoin is not blockchain
Bitcoin is not blockchain. Bitcoin built on blockchain and ‘just’ uses it as the underlying technology.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, while blockchain is a distributed database.
Bitcoin is powered by blockchain technology, but blockchain has found many uses beyond Bitcoin.
Bitcoin promotes anonymity, while blockchain is about transparency.
However, blockchain technology was invented for Bitcoin.
9. You can pay with it
Actually, you can buy things with Bitcoin, both online and in physical stores.
Every day there are more and more merchants accepting Bitcoin. For example, just a couple are Microsoft, Overstock, Starbucks, Whole Foods, KFC Canada, Expedia. Amazon does not yet accept Bitcoin, but you can buy Amazon Gift Cards at Bitrefill and then spend it on Amazon.
Mass adoption of Bitcoin is closer than we would ever think.
10. The Great Crypto Crash 2018
In December 2017, a Bitcoin was worth $ 19,783, the highest conversion value ever. However, five days later, it fell below $ 11,000, halved by February 2018, and finally reached a depth of $ 6,000. At the end of 2018, it was just over $ 3,000. Today, it’s hovering around $ 40,000 and marching up.
The price of Bitcoin – and with it its popularity – is reaching unprecedented heights. Many people say that this is just the beginning. In recent months, several large international companies have bought hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin together. Meanwhile, interest in retail has also jumped significantly.
At the same time, it is continuously the subject of many criticisms, based on legal, economic, and technological considerations. The media steadfastly promotes that anonymity is an excellent terrain for criminals. However, it is worth noting that anonymity will prevail as long as we do not wish to convert our Bitcoins into traditional currency. We can only do it within a strictly regulated framework, after customer identification.
The other accusation is that Bitcoin is dangerous because it is a tool used for money laundering and tax evasion. Well, all I would add to this is that traditional currencies have been used successfully for centuries for such and similar crimes, using well-established methods.