Nine fascinating facts about Bitcoin
When is Bitcoin’s most profitable time of the year, and how much BTC is lost every day?
In 100 years’ time, 2021 will go down in the history books as the year that Bitcoin hit the big time – exploding in value and attracting support from high-profile institutions along the way. Here are some enlightening Bitcoin facts that show how extraordinary the past 12 months have been – along with some statistics revealing the challenges that lie ahead.
1. A year unlike any other
In March 2020, Bitcoin suffered a dramatic flash crash that became known as Black Thursday – losing half of its value in a jaw-dropping plunge that lasted for two days. At one point, the cryptocurrency fell below $4,000. Just over 12 months later, and a new record high of $64,843.10 was set… marking a gain of 1,517% over this period.
2. Q4 tends to be the most profitable
Here’s another interesting fact about Bitcoin: historical data shows that the fourth quarter of the year, the period from October to December, tends to deliver the highest gains. Between 2013 and 2020, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency only suffered losses in three Q4s – delivering explosive gains in the rest.
Bitcoin facts and figures suggest that halving events have a big impact here. The biggest rises in Q4 came in 2013 and 2017, when BTC rose by 479.6% and 215% respectively. Both quarters came about 12 to 18 months after block rewards given to miners were slashed in half, reducing the amount of new supply entering circulation. Given how BTC tends to operate on a four-year cycle, there are now bold predictions being made that we could see equally explosive returns in Q4 2021. However, past performance doesn’t always predict what lies ahead in the future.
3. Tesla’s cashing in on its crypto
When it comes to unbelievable facts about Bitcoin, just look at how Tesla’s investment of $1.5bn in crypto has performed since January. The electric vehicle manufacturer recently revealed that it booked a $101m profit from selling 10% of its BTC stash – just three months after the purchase was made. This means that, in just three months, the company has made more money from Bitcoin than it has from selling cars for 14 years.
4. A lot of Bitcoin has been lost forever
Estimates in 2020 suggested that 3.7 million BTC had been lost forever and are now unrecoverable. As of the all-time high seen in April 2021, this would have had a cash value of $239bn.
Unfortunately, the latest Bitcoin facts and figures indicate that this is a problem that’s getting worse, not better. Data from crypto analyst Timothy Peterson indicates that 1,500 BTC are lost every single day – far more than the 900 BTC that’s mined on a daily basis.
Beyond these Bitcoin statistics, we’ve heard some rather horrifying stories about what this can look like in practice. In January, a Californian programmer revealed that he had forgotten the password to a hard drive that contained 7,002 BTC… and he only has two guesses left. At the time of writing, this would be worth $385.4m.
5. BTC’s creator hasn’t been heard from for 10 years
Some of the most mysterious Bitcoin facts surround Satoshi Nakamoto, the cryptocurrency’s pseudonymous creator. It’s now been 10 years since we heard from the inventor last – and his final message said:
“I’ve moved on to other things.”
A single Bitcoin was worth $1 all the way back in April 2011. Who would have imagined a decade later it would end up being worth 64,000 times more than this.
6. Bitcoin’s energy usage keeps on rising
Moving away from Bitcoin fun facts, it’s worth remembering that there are some rather serious Bitcoin stats that expose issues the crypto sector needs to address. A hot-button topic that’s caused alarm among environmental campaigners and governments involves the sheer level of power that this cryptocurrency needs to operate.
Every year, the Bitcoin network has a carbon footprint that’s equivalent to the whole of Hungary, and uses as much power as Kazakhstan. These facts about Bitcoin are even starker when you consider the impact that a single transaction has. According to Digiconomist, one Bitcoin transfer has a carbon footprint equivalent to 1.13 million Visa transactions or 85,000 hours of watching YouTube – and uses enough electricity to power an American household for 37 whole days.
The crypto community says great strides are being taken to ensure that renewable energy is used to power Bitcoin’s blockchain, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.
7. It costs $93m to move BTC’s price by 1%
This particular Bitcoin fact comes courtesy of the Bank of America, which recently aimed to assess how the funds flowing into this cryptocurrency affect bottom lines. The bank reported that it takes just $92,563,224 to increase Bitcoin’s price by 1%. By contrast, it would cost $2,018,736,482 to do the same with gold.
8. Mt. Gox victims in line for a payday
One of the more infamous facts about Bitcoin relates to the devastating hack of Mt. Gox in 2014, which at the time was the world’s biggest crypto exchange. More than 850,000 BTC was lost. This would have been worth $470m back then, or $47bn at current rates. Seven years on, and 20,000 victims are about to share the 150,000 BTC that has since been recovered.
This compensation fund currently has a cash value that’s 17.5 times higher than what all 850,000 Bitcoin was worth when it was stolen, something that may provide a small comfort to those who were affected.
9. Bitcoin is the market leader by a long way
Last but not least, here’s a powerful reminder of the hold that Bitcoin, the world’s oldest cryptocurrency, has on the market. The cryptocurrency’s market cap of $1trn is currently more than the next 50 coins combined. Although it’s entirely possible that a coin will explode in popularity and offer tangible improvements over BTC – stealing its throne is something that will prove very difficult to achieve.
The big question now is how long Bitcoin’s bull market will last, and the impact that an inevitable bear market will have on its value.