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As people become more familiar with bitcoin (BTC) and news about it spreads, some of us have begun thinking we know all about it. After all, we have begun cautiously investing in the coin, taking it for payment in our online businesses, and using it for luxury purchases.
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But bitcoin is more widely used—and widely traveled—than you might know. Here are eight surprising facts you probably didn’t already know about BTC.
1. BTC Has Been to Space
In 2016 scientists conducted an experiment to see how far away BTC could travel and still handle transactions. Genesis Mining, a cloud service provider, included a paper wallet of BTC and a three-dimensional model of a bitcoin into the launch of a weather balloon. They used a GoPro cam to record its travel and progress. Afterward, Genesis Mining reported they were able to conduct successful transactions as far away as 34 kilometers, or a little more than 21 miles.
2. Get Ready to Celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day
Did you know that every year for the past decade, people all over the world have been celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day?
Yes, it’s true. About 10 years ago Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer based in Florida, exchanged nearly 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas from Papa John’s. This was BTC’s first official trade purchase. At the time, one bitcoin had a value of about $41. Today, one bitcoin is worth more than $50,000. This means that Hanyecz’s two pizzas would be worth about 500 million US dollars today.
3. A Single Unit of BTC Is a “Satoshi Byte”
Just like fiat currencies, or money issued by governments, crypto engineers have broken BTC into smaller parts. For example, we think of a dollar as being 100 cents and and a pound as being 100 pence.
Similarly, BTC is divided into smaller units. These smaller denominations are named after the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin and the blockchain it is based on, Satoshi Nakamoto. That is, each one is a “Satoshi Byte,” and each Satoshi byte is the equivalent of 0.00000001 BTC.
To find out more about crypto trading and possibly even acquire a few Satoshi bytes of your own, visit https://bitcoinprime.org/.
4. Senders and Receivers of BTC Remain Anonymous
Each bitcoins has an extremely lengthy address code comprising 34 alphanumeric characters. It is therefore well-nigh impossible to track users. This anonymity has multiple positives. However, it is also what attracts the illegals to BTC. In fact, bitcoin funds many illegal activities because of its anonymity.
To help counteract some of this illegal activity, several digital wallets have begun issuing portfolio identifications to their users. Wallet owners then use their portfolio ID as their username. This practice enhances overall protections for BTC while safeguarding privacy about users’ details and credentials.
5. Bitcoin Exists Beyond the Confines of Laws and Regulations
Despite multiple attempts, governments around the world have not been able to ban bitcoin. This basically because of bitcoin’s inherent quality of decentralization and its ever-expanding adoption.
For example, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries have tried to ban the crypto trade. The leaders of these countries claim that cryptocurrencies are harmful to the average citizen as well as the country’s economic system. However, they have discovered that bitcoin is not so easy to control. Therefore, it is possible that governments will now attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies instead.
In the meantime, BTC trading continues unabated. And while bitcoin continues to fund a number of illegal activities around the world, no government has yet found a way to ban it. Miners continue to mine it and crypto fans, whether law-abiding or criminal, continue to circulate it throughout the world.
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6. People Are Beginning to Use Bitcoin for Purchases
Although BTC’s anonymity factor makes it a favorite on the black market, legitimate users are becoming fond of bitcoin, too. For example, big players such as Microsoft, Dell, and others now accept BTC for payment. In Canada, high-end restaurants and even fast-food chains like KFC and Subway now take bitcoin for purchases.
People in the developing world are also taking a liking to BTC as awareness grows around the globe. In fact, digital currencies are especially attractive to people who don’t have access to conventional banks.
It is only a matter of time until more and more merchants begin accepting BTC as a payment method. In fact, many industry observers predict that BTC payments will soon become mainstream. These predictions make bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies ever more popular among crypto traders. Many of them believe that as more people begin using digital currencies for purchases, BTC’s value will increase over the long term.
7. BTX Is Taxed Like Capital Gains
The United States government has classified BTC and other virtual currencies as financial and capital assets. In other words, the US government views them as similar to stocks and bonds and other investment vehicles. Other governments have followed suit. Accordingly, many governments around the world are preparing to regulate digital currencies. Therefore, if you own BTC or any other digital currency, you must report it for tax purposes.
We recommend that you study the prevailing laws in your country that apply to BTC and other digital currencies and abide by them rigorously. It’s best to stay on the safer side to protect your own interests as well as the integrity of BTC and other currencies.
8. Did You Hear About the “Value Overflow” Incident?
Most crypto fans understand that the supply BTC of is limited by design to a total limit of 21 million. This built-in scarcity is one of the main reasons that BTC continues to grow in value.
However, in August 2010 BTC suffered from a “value overflow incident.” Because of a weakness in the BTC software code, which engineers have since corrected, an individual was able to perform a transaction that allowed them to create more than 180 million bitcoins. This person’s actions jeopardized bitcoin’s inherent scarcity factor, representing risk to the entire supply.
However, experienced crypto experts quickly dealt with the error, corrected the code’s weakness, and reset the limit to its previous threshold of 21 million coins.
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So there you have it: eight surprising facts about BTC you probably didn’t know before. Now you can amaze and surprise your friends on your next Zoom call.