At the time of writing of this article, Bitcoin value had already surpassed the record $16,000 value and was rapidly heading toward the $17,000 mark (It was $16,829 the last I checked). The surge in the value has been dramatic and yet it is showing no signs of stopping. Many experts claim that the rapidly inflating bubble is set to pop. The others say that it is here to stay. Bitcoin is volatile and unpredictable. But, it still seems like a viable investment opportunity. Here are some bitcoin facts you may not have been aware of.
- There is a Limit to Bitcoin’s Supply
- Mining Requires Resources and Energy
- Bitcoin Has Smaller Units
- There are Bitcoin Billionaires
- Hacks and Heists
- The Largest Market Cap
- Bitcoin is Not the Only Crypto-Currency
- Transaction Fee is High
- Many Bitcoins are Lost
There is a Limit to Bitcoin’s Supply
There could only be as many as 21 million bitcoins in the world at any point of time. But, the supply will not touch this number even in a hundred years. At this time, nearly 17 million bitcoins are available worldwide. The new coins are released every regularly using the ‘mining’ process. It takes about 10 minutes to mine approximately 12.5 coins. The mining process isn’t easy. There are complex algorithms involved and they are solved by the global network on servers and computers.
Mining Requires Resources and Energy
The computers that mine Bitcoin are very power intensive. A lot of hardware resource and thus a lot of energy is required for the mining process. And now, since Bitcoin has gained so much attention, more miners are getting into the game. As a result, the power consumption has increased manifolds. In fact, one Bitcoin takes as much as 200 KW-Hrs of energy on an average. With 300 thousand transactions happening every day, one can imagine how much energy is getting drained here.
Bitcoin Has Smaller Units
Now that Bitcoin has touched and exceeded $16,000 mark, not everyone can afford to buy one Bitcoin. However, if you are interested in bitcoin investment, do not get disappointed. There are several smaller units and the smallest one is known as Satoshi. This unit was named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, whose whereabouts and identity are yet not known publicly. Satoshi is only one-hundred-millionth of one bitcoin. Going by the exchange rates, it will cost nearly $0.0002.
There are Bitcoin Billionaires
Yes! There are Bitcoin billionaires. Winklevoss brothers are the most renowned billionaires who have the biggest chunk of bitcoins. Ever since 2011, Bitcoin has performed better than any currency, with the exception of 2014. At the time of writing this article, this cryptocurrency is 1400% more than its original value. So anyone who bought, let’s say, $100 worth of bitcoin in early 2013 would now nearly own $1.2 million worth of this currency. But, bitcoin, like any other cryptocurrency remains to be volatile. As fast as its value has surged, it may also come down rapidly (or maybe not).
There is another interesting fact. There are a total of nearly 5.6 million bitcoins in the biggest 1,000 wallets of the world. This is more than one-third of the total bitcoins in the system. The collective worth of the top 1,000 wallet owners is more than $85 billion.
Hacks and Heists
Your Bitcoin money isn’t as safe as you may like. Nearly one million bitcoins have already been heisted from various exchanges. The theft has been carried out either by the insiders or the hackers. A million bitcoins is over $15 bn as per the existing exchange rates. The bitcoin market is largely unregulated and hence there aren’t many laws or strict penalties for such acts. The best way is to keep your money in the wallet and on offline computers.
The Largest Market Cap
The total value of the released bitcoins is more than $280 billion. The market cap, which is also the total value, is more than that of VISA. Some of the top financial institutions combined cannot touch this market cap. So, bitcoin is definitely well priced. But, it is volatile and unpredictable. We will have to wait and watch how it will fair in the coming time.
Bitcoin is Not the Only Crypto-Currency
We all have been hearing so much about bitcoin these days that most of us haven’t even thought of looking beyond it. Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency in the market. In fact, there more than 1,000 of them. So, this gives you many investment options. But, there is no denying that bitcoin has performed way better than the others.
Transaction Fee is High
Bitcoin transactions don’t come cheap. The transaction fee has increased over the last couple of years. The rise in the transaction fee has kept up well with the rise in the value of the currency. For every bitcoin transaction, you need to pay just a little less than $7.50. Compared to the transaction fee at the beginning of 2017, it has risen by more than 30 cents.
Many Bitcoins are Lost
Not all the bitcoins in the system are accessible. Lots of bitcoins have been lost and may never get accessed. There are various reasons including forgotten password, owners dying, owners forgetting they have bitcoins. Since the lost bitcoins are still in the system, it is impossible to determine how many have actually been lost permanently. Even if a bitcoin is in a dormant address, it is still in the system. A research has shown that more than 60 percent of the coins mined so far is unspent. It is also speculated that a million bitcoins alone are owned by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged created of this cryptocurrency.
These are just some interesting facts about bitcoin, whose prices are climbing up rapidly every day. With these facts, I do not intend to influence the buying decision of my readers. In spite of being volatile, bitcoins have proven to be very rewarding to many. If you are thinking about investing in this cryptocurrency, I would suggest you to do a thorough research and learn about its various aspects. It would also be a good idea to consider other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.