When the media went frantic over the Bitcoins system in April 2013, almost all people wanted to have some part of it. Its popularity sky-rocketed and more and more people became eager to know how the system works and how they can earn millions from it.
It is like the Miley Cyrus of digital currency with all the limelight afforded to it! Did you know that bitcoin mining was once confused by police authorities to growing weed? This is because, like marijuana growing operations, Bitcoin mining produces a lot of heat due to all-day operating computers and high electricity consumption. Get to know more about this digital currency in this list of 10 Interesting Bitcoin Stories!
10- Bitcoin mining confused for growing weed
During 2010, when the currency of bitcoins abruptly rose, many people started to get interested in the currency. Consequently, it also increased the competition between miners in order to increase their profits – these miners mine bitcoins for more than 24 hours a day! With this high consumption of electricity, a Bitcoin miner once was raided by police authorities who thought that he was growing weed.
According to the bylaws of the Canadian town of Mission, the Public Safety Inspection team may search people’s homes if they are consuming more than 9 kWh of electricity per day. This is because, like marijuana growing operations, Bitcoin mining produces a lot of heat due to all-day operating computers and high electricity consumption.
9- Bitcoin helps the homeless
In Florida, a homeless man named Jesse Angle made headlines because of his story of surviving on Bitcoin mining alone. Angle uses free Wi-Fi in stores in order to use the app BitcoinGet. This app generates more traffic to YouTube videos, and Angle, in return, gets paid with 5 cents worth of Bitcoins for each video he watches.
Aside from that, he also participates in Bitcoin Tapper, an app that gives Bitcoins in exchange for each tap on a certain icon. After three months, Angle was able to generate more than $500 worth of Bitcoins! This, along with food stamps and coupons, enable Angle to survive without a job and a home.
8- Media saved Bitcoin
According to Chris Daniels, a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings, the media coverage of Bitcoin development might be the one of the reasons why the digital currency was not shut down by the federal authorities. Operators of Bitcoin were already even receiving cease-and-desist-letters from the state banking departments but because of the positive reinforcement of the media to the currency, the state now is even encouraging to develop this cryptocurrency. And numerous governments, including the United Kingdom, want to regulate the currency to create stability and aid in its survival.
7- From $27 to $886K
Within only the span of four years, Kristoffer Koch from Norway was able to turn his $26 Bitcoin investment into $886,000 wealth! It all started when he invested 150 kroner in 5,000 Bitcoins in 2009 when he was still writing his thesis on encryption. Thereafter, he had forgotten all about it.
Four years later, in April 2013, when media covered the development of bitcoin, he remembered his forgotten investment. Although he had initially forgotten his password for his wallet as well, he managed to retrieve it back and was surprised to see he has $886,000 worth of money!
6- Bitcoin as a criminal tracker
Bitcoin’s system boast its anonymity, but that does not mean that illegal purchasers can get away by using the digital currency. Actually, many law enforcement officers prefer criminals to use bitcoin in purchasing their illegal effects, rather than cash, because it leaves a permanent record.
Through the use of forensic and data analytics, the movement of Bitcoin transactions are being positively identified, as compared to cash transactions where records are less transparent. For example, there is a necessity for subpoenas to be issued first before records may be accounted for.
5- Bitcoin Theft
Despite being digital and relatively secure, there are some few instances of Bitcoin theft. In 2011, a Bitcoin user claimed that he was robbed with almost $375,000 worth of bitcoins from his wallet. A few days after that, there was a leak of almost 60,000 usernames and passwords at the Mt. Gox.
One user claimed that he lost almost 2,000 bitcoins due to the leak. And in March 2012, due to a security breach in a web hosting company, almost 50,000 bitcoins would be robbed – the largest in the history of digital currency. The problem in this incidences is that it is very difficult to confirm the alleged theft and to track down who stole it.
4- The Silk Road
Recently, the online black market Silk Road, sometimes referred to as the Amazon or eBay of illegal drugs, was shut down by the federal authorities. It was launched in February 2011 and operated as a Tor hidden service. That means the clients are able to browse the website anonymously and without traffic monitoring.
On October 2013, it was shut down by the FBI. They arrested Ross William Ulbricht and identified the chief operator as “Dread Pirate Roberts”. There are rumors that a Silk Road 2.0 website is currently being operated by the same administrators!
3- First Bitcoin transaction was for a pizza
Bitcoin was launched in 2009, but it was only in 2010 when its first-ever transaction proved that you can actually buy something by using the digital currency. What was purchased? Pizza, of course! In May 2010, Lazlo Hanyecz posted a challenge in a Bitcoin online forum to buy using bitcoins.
A few days later, someone accepted and Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two “The Works” pizzas from Papa John’s. At that time, it was only worth $25, but it will be worth more than $8 million if converted today! That will be the most expensive pizzas ever!
The geniuses behind the KnCMiner are Sam Cole, Marcus Erlandsson, and Andreas Kennemar. KnCMiner is a company which produces computers with an ASIC chip that lets bitcoin miners solve algorithms easier – which means that these miners will be able to generate Bitcoins faster and with lesser effort. Because of the popularity of Bitcoins, they sold ever computer they had in stock for $7,000 per piece. At one point, they were actually gaining profit of $600,000 in less than five minutes!
1- Satoshi Nakamoto
To think that the popularity of Bitcoin is already sky-rocketing right now, its developer is probably living the life of a celebrity. But the truth is, no one has ever seen the genius behind the Bitcoin system – except that he is nicknamed as Satoshi Nakamoto and he is in no mood for coming out anytime soon.
There are rumors that Nakamoto actually communicated with its software developers during the early days of the Bitcoin, but all that communication stopped by 2010. Nakamoto may either be a single person or a group of persons, but no one certainly knows.