9 fascinating facts about BTC

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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 two years 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 (£3,210). 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. But there’s more! In November 2021, the record was broken again, with a new all-time high of $68,521.

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. That pattern appears to be holding for 2021, even though the quarter is just beyond midway. On day one of Q4, it began climbing from $48,159.50. At time of writing, it was more than $57,000, which is 21% better, but well below the all-time high achieved on 5 November.

Bitcoin (BTC) 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.

3. Tesla 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 2021. The electric vehicle manufacturer 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. Its third-quarter report mentions holding $1.26bn in digital assets.

4. A lot of bitcoin has been lost forever

Chainalysis has estimated 3.7 million BTC had been lost forever. As of the all-time high seen in November 2021, this would have had a cash value of $253.5bn.

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 in 2020 indicates that 1,500 BTC are lost every single day – far more than the 900 BTC that’s mined on a daily basis. Peterson’s research suggested 28% of all coins have been “irretrievably lost”.

Beyond these bitcoin statistics, we’ve heard some rather horrifying stories about what this can look like in practice. In January, Californian programmer Stefan Thomas revealed that he had forgotten the password to a hard drive that contained 7,002 BTC… and he only had two guesses left. At the time of writing, this would be worth $406.1m. 

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 it would someday be worth 68,000 times more?

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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 Chile, and uses as much electric power as Thailand. 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 2.02m Visa transactions or 152,000 hours of watching YouTube – and uses enough electricity to power an American household for almost 66 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 casualties 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 $49.3bn at current rates. Seven years on, and 20,000 casualties are about to share the 150,000 BTC that has since been recovered. That is worth $8.7bn at current prices.

This compensation fund currently has a cash value that’s 18.5 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 $1.1trn is currently more than 40% of the total market cap for all coins. 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 whether Bitcoin’s bull run is nearing the end, and the impact that an inevitable bear market will have on its value.

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FURTHER READING: How many Ethereum coins are there?
FURTHER READING: The top seven altcoins for 2022

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