Bitcoin and cryptos didn’t have a conventional origin, and they’re not conventional by themselves, indeed. This little world is full of weird and interesting facts that every cryptocurrency user should know. Either because they’re useful in some way, or just because you’re missing the fun.
So, let’s take on a small journey from pizza and old coins to Everest and the space in this list. We decided not to include this time the topic of who is the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto because everybody knows (doesn’t know) that at this point, and we already have a list of suspects here.
Let’s check some not-widely-known data!
1. Only 21m BTC will ever exist… and 4m are already lost forever
In case you didn’t notice so far, Bitcoin (BTC) isn’t at all like traditional money. For starting, its supply is factory limited. Only 21 million BTC will be minted and will ever exist. Like, forever. The bitcoin miners have a limited job that will end around the year 2140 if they’re lucky. This was designed like this to avoid inflation and provide more value to the cryptocurrency (if something is scarce, then is more valuable).
From that figure, around 4 million BTC are already lost forever. Probably, they’ll never be found again, let alone spent. How happened? Well, it’s certainly a tragedy, if you think about it. To understand why this happened, let’s go back a bit in the history of Bitcoin.
In the beginning, around 2010 and 2012, Bitcoin was barely an obscure Internet currency for developers, gamers, and geeks. Its price was between nothing and a few dollars per coin. So, the owners didn’t pay enough attention to their private keys and hard drives. In so many cases, they lost or forgot them. With amazing amounts inside, by the way: only one BTC was rare. They usually owned many more, hundreds and thousands of coins in there (and millions of dollars now).
Yes, they’re probably crying now. Tough luck (remember to take good care of your private keys).
2. Bitcoin is in love with pizza
Or so to say. Because our current price of $32,000+ per coin started one random noon on May 18, 2010, with the petition made by the developer Laszlo Hanyecz in the Bitcointalk forum. He wanted a pizza. A pizza paid with BTC. So, he offered 10,000 BTC to anybody that could buy it for him, and make the delivery to his home in Florida (US). He even wondered if that figure (10,000 coins) was too low for the purchase.
A few days later, on May 22, someone finally bought and sent him that pizza, from Papa John’s. The counter-party was the user Jercos (Jeremy Sturdivant), who received those 10,000 BTC from Laszlo. If he still has them, he’s filthy rich, because the value by now would be about 326 million dollars. And just for a pizza, eh? But the most important thing for us in this story is that was the first documented purchase of a tangible good using cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, finally, was starting to fulfill its purpose: to be a currency. Since then, the price only went to the moon.
So, to commemorate that lucky day, we celebrate now Bitcoin Pizza Day every May 22. Several restaurants around the world (and online) offer discounts in BTC for pizza that day and the bitcoiners eat a lot of pizza. There’s even a card wallet to commemorate it.
3. The nations Liberland, Asgardia, and Blue Frontiers
Liberland is a non-fully-recognized micro-nation between Croatia and Serbia, proclaimed as it by the politician and activist Vít Jedlička in 2015. The main attraction about it is the ideology of “Live and let live”, which aims to offer personal and economic freedom to its citizens, no matter the race, ethnicity, orientation, or religion.
Asgardia is another micro-nation, this time in a satellite outside Earth. They pretend to build space colonies in the future, and already have their own constitution. On the other hand, Blue Frontiers is a project to build a micro-nation in the ocean of French Polynesia.
What they do have in common? Sure you already guessed it: they use cryptocurrencies as official money. Liberland has the native token Merit (LLM), Asgardia will use the token SOLAR, and Blue Frontiers expects to issue the Varyon (VAR) coin at some point. So, you can say they’re the first nations with cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
4. Bitcoin and cryptos are already in the space
Well, we don’t say it only for Asgardia. Literally, someone already sent bitcoins to space and made the first cryptocurrency transaction outside Earth. It was the crypto-company Genesis Mining (the same that made a billboard for Jamie Dimon). They used the services of the firm SentIntoSpace to send a representative physical bitcoin into space, with the help of a helium balloon. They also made a real transaction with that equipment in 2016.
They were just the first ones. Last year, the crypto-firm SpaceChain made a successful Bitcoin transfer from its International Space Station-hosted (ISS) hardware.
Additionally, do you know you can connect to the Bitcoin (and probably Monero) network without Internet? That is thanks to the Blockstream satellites, which broadcast the blockchain “around the world 24/7 for free”. To access the service, you’ll only need a small hardware kit. And to make offline Monero transactions, a smaller Turpial device is required.
5. Sexcoin, Trollcoin, Nevacoin, JesusCoin, and many more
According to CoinMarketCap, there are over 8,360 cryptocurrencies in existence. And not all of them aim for a serious or useful purpose, to be honest. Dogecoin (DOGE) isn’t unique in that sense. The thing is, anybody with programming knowledge can create a new altcoin out of the woodwork, just because they want to. So much like the developer of Nevacoin (NEVA), who built it as a gift for his girlfriend (whose name’s Neva, by the way).
There’s also a Sexcoin (SXC), a Titcoin (TIT), and a Spankchain (SPANK) to pay for, you know, adult’s entertainment. Trollcoin (TROLL) has an excellent whitepaper, and its purpose is “Trolling with love”. Cheesecoin (CHEESE) is there but doesn’t offer any cheese. Insanecoin (ISN), Pandemia (PNDM), Trumpcoin (TRUMP), and a bunch of Halloween coins are also kicking around. We even have a JesusCoin (JC) to decentralize Jesus.
6. Crypto-treasure buried in the Everest
Pirates left them on remote islands, Egyptians on trap-filled pyramids, your grandmother on old grounds, and Ask.fm in the Everest. We mean treasures, of course. In the last case, a cryptocurrency treasure buried and frozen in Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level. How and why?
Well, in May 2018 the social network Ask.fm was planning to launch its own Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to fund a new platform that’d work with its native token (ASKT) rewards. So, they thought it’d be a great idea to send a group of professional climbers to Everest to bury on the top a Ledger hardware wallet containing 500.000 ASKT. This would be around $100,000 after the ICO.
The climbers went and did it, indeed. They recorded the event and challenged the general public to pick the treasure by their own means, but everything went wrong from there. The Sherpa guide disappeared on the way back, the climbers got hurt and they had to be rescued. Sadly, the guide was never found again. The ICO was never launched at the end, either. So, the coins are still there, lost in the snow and forgotten. Even its value is debatable at this point.