50 Insane Bitcoin Facts
Ever since its creation in 2008, virtual currency Bitcoin has been the subject of endless rumor, review, and speculation. But despite a steady stream of naysayers and problems with theft, the Little Crypto-Currency That Could continues to chug along. Like many phenomena that capture the public’s attention, Bitcoin is surrounded by characters straight out of tall tales—lucky stiffs, the seemingly cursed, and sketchy ne’er-do-wells scheming to take other people’s hard-earned money.
Full of shadowy mystery and bright promise, Bitcoin continues to attract press, plaudits, and pessimism even as the modern marketplace struggles with the potential impact of a currency whose existence, let alone functionality, is hard to pin down.
A large part of the Bitcoin mythos can be traced to its mysterious origins. The person who created the world’s leading virtual currency is, perhaps appropriately, a cipher. While Satoshi Nakamoto has long been acknowledged as the creator of Bitcoin, next to nothing is known about the identity of the person (or persons) operating under this name, beyond the likelihood of his vast wealth. This hasn’t stopped Internet sleuths from putting some pretty advanced technology to work trying to shed some light on Nakamoto’s identity, but for now, the mists of time and technology continue to shield Bitcoin’s enigmatic creator.
Another aspect that sparks controversy and conjecture is the set of physical and financial limitations attached to a currency that’s anything but concrete. Thanks to a limitation built-into the core algorithm, only 21 million Bitcoins can ever be mined. That might seem like a relatively small number compared to other currencies, but since each block can be divided to eight or ten decimal points, fractional values can—and do—add up quickly.
The limitations may soon be tested more rigorously, as the currency will have its own ATMs popping up across the United States throughout 2014. Consumers who may not be familiar with it may soon be able to buy, sell, send, and spend Bitcoins at the local grocery or gas station, helping spread Bitcoin’s availability and making it seem a little less arcane to John and Jane Q. Public.
While greater familiarity will no doubt help educate users about Bitcoin, the world’s leading virtual crypto-currency will likely continue to generate controversy and conjecture long after the last Bitcoin is mined in or around the year 2140.
PS. Checkout our post on referral programs that payout in bitcoin!
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