24 Facts About Bitcoin You Need To Know
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Over the past four years, the number of people in the UK who have bought cryptocurrency has jumped 103%.
Digital currencies are becoming increasingly ubiquitous – taking up column inches in major publications and hitting the morning news headlines with ever-growing frequency.
Of all digital currencies, none are better known in the UK than Bitcoin, with the token considered more than five times as recognisable than the next largest cryptocurrency (Ethereum). Last year’s data showed that Bitcoin dominated the UK crypto market with a 60% share.
But while usage and awareness continue to rise, there are numerous questions and misconceptions when it comes to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – hence why we have a team of specialist UK crypto accountants and regularly answer crypto-related questions on our blog.
In this article we focus on the facts about Bitcoin you need to know about – whether you’re planning to start investing in it or if you simply want to gain a better grasp of the space.
Read on for the 24 facts about Bitcoin you need to know about.
1. Who owns the most Bitcoin (BTC)?
This might sound a simple question, but there are various elements to consider.
Firstly, the question of individuals versus organisations.
Among individuals, the challenge in quantifying crypto wealth comes down to the nature of digital wallets, each of which has a specific address. The transparent nature of the blockchain means that these wallets can be viewed but not necessarily linked to a particular individual.
While there are currently three separate wallet addresses containing more than one hundred thousand Bitcoin, one single individual may have multiple wallets.
Nevertheless, it’s considered that Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, likely owns the most Bitcoin as a result of the extensive Bitcoin mining – and subsequent Bitcoin rewards – they carried out while active in the space. These rewards would be in excess of one million Bitcoin, it is believed.
Among private companies, the leading owner of Bitcoin is the Chinese corporation Block.one, which owns around 140,00 Bitcoin.
2. How many new Bitcoins are created every day?
The mining of Bitcoin has proved a lucrative industry for many – and, as such, is vastly competitive.
This is based upon the amount of time taken for the complex algorithmic puzzles that underpin the mining process to be solved. We’ll talk more about the time taken to mine a Bitcoin below.
3. How many Bitcoins are left?
The maximum number of Bitcoins that can be mined is 21 million.
At the time of writing, just over 19 million Bitcoins have been mined – meaning just under two million are yet to be mined.
Without going too deep into the maths, this results from the way the network has been designed to round down some decimal points (use of bit-shift operators).
4. How long until all Bitcoin is mined?
As we’ve stated above, it’s possible not all Bitcoin will necessarily ever be mined.
However, for all intents and purposes, it’s going to get very close to that 21 million upper limit.
The way the network is designed, the rate at which Bitcoins are mined will slow over time.
5. How much Bitcoin can I mine in a day?
It takes ten minutes to mine a new Bitcoin block. That means 144 blocks can be mined each day.
The Bitcoin reward for one block is currently 6.25 Bitcoins – therefore, around 900 will be mined a day.
However, don’t get carried away about how much you could personally mine.
Remember each block is being competed for by thousands of other miners. And not just individuals, powerful collaborations, or “mining pools”, where computing power is combined and the subsequent rewards shared.
6. How long would it take to mine one Bitcoin?
This question holds a common misconception: you can’t actually mine one Bitcoin.
Miners instead mine a Bitcoin block and are currently rewarded with 6.25 BTC.
Each block takes ten minutes to mine – and as such, it takes ten minutes to mine one Bitcoin as part of that.
7. How many Bitcoins are in existence right now?
At the time of writing, 19,081,106.25 Bitcoins are in existence right now.
Various sites track this figure, including this one.
8. What happens if Bitcoin reaches max supply?
If Bitcoin reaches max supply, the biggest impact will be on the miners.
Although they won’t lose all revenue from their participation in the blockchain, rather than benefiting from mining rewards, they will receive rewards by way of transaction processing fees (transactions will continue to need to be organised into blocks).
How lucrative these transaction fees will be are hard to predict at present.
Similarly, at this stage, it’s impossible to be certain how investors will fare if Bitcoin reaches max supply. It depends on how Bitcoin is used, whether as a store of value or as a common method of transaction.
9. How many Bitcoins are lost forever?
It may have happened to you.
Forget the access details to your crypto wallet, and that’s it – you won’t be getting at your crypto anytime soon (or indeed ever).
Physical storage can be risky, too. Last year James Howells hit the headlines, having thrown away a hard drive in 2013, which was estimated to hold the Bitcoin equivalent of approximately £210 million.
A study taken by Chainalysis in 2017 estimated that between 2.3 million and 3.7 million Bitcoins have been lost since the cryptocurrency’s inception.
This means as much as 20% of the total supply of Bitcoins has been lost from circulation.
10. Who got rich off Bitcoin?
Short answer: a lot of people.
While recent price drops have received a lot of media attention, early investors in an asset that has risen so steeply in value aren’t going to be worrying about ongoing volatility.
Those who backed the emergent cryptocurrency early are those who have benefited the most – and as you’d expect, the more money they put in the more they have gained.
Changpeng Zhao is considered to be the richest man in crypto. While his holdings won’t be exclusively Bitcoin-based – they have been driven by the coin’s adoption and growth.
Other big hitters in the Bitcoin space are the Winklevoss Twins (who invested the money gained from their lawsuit against Facebook into Bitcoin) and Michael Saylor.
11. When was Bitcoin worth $1?
BTC reached $1 in February 2011, achieving parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time.
12. Who made Bitcoin?
As we’ve mentioned above, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin was Satoshi Nakamoto.
Whether this was actually a single individual, or multiple persons working collaboratively is an often debated subject.
There have been various attempts to unveil Satoshi, but all have been discredited.
13. Where was Bitcoin created?
By its very nature, being decentralised, this isn’t a question we can answer with any certainty.
Many have assumed Satoshi Nakamoto to be of Japanese origin due to the name used – but where he, she, or they were based is impossible to say.
14. When was Bitcoin created?
On October 31st 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”.
It was just over two months later, on January 3rd 2009, that Satoshi mined the first block of the chain – and the digital finance revolution began in earnest.
15. How much Bitcoin does Satoshi own?
It is estimated that Satoshi owns around 1,000,000 BTC based on their mining of over 22,000 blocks.
16. How many Bitcoin millionaires are there?
Much like identifying the richest person in Bitcoin, this question has some challenges attached.
While the number of bitcoin wallets in existence – and how much is in each one – is public data, who in fact owns those accounts is not.
An individual could own multiple accounts. Similarly, a single account could be held by multiple people.
However, last year, CBS News estimated that there might be more than 100k Bitcoin millionaires. Given the price of Bitcoin has fallen since their report, and for the reasons stated above, this figure should be treated with a little caution.
17. How many Bitcoin billionaires are there?
We’ve already cited the fact that cryptocurrencies are volatile – and Bitcoin falls into this category. With this in mind, it can be hard to precisely identify who is a Bitcoin billionaire at any one time.
Likewise, due to the nature of digital wallets, we may never know whether some Bitcoin billionaires are, in fact, multiple people – or indeed whether a single individual is even richer than first imagined!
According to BitInfoCharts there are currently 23 active wallets holding more than a billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin.
18. How many Bitcoins does Elon Musk have?
Elon Musk’s influence on cryptocurrency cannot be ignored.
Tesla made a major investment into Bitcoin in the spring of last year, with Forbes estimating earlier this year that the company’s holdings were worth more than 2 billion USD.
As for Musk himself, he stated in 2019 he only held 0.25 BTC.
19. Which country has the most Bitcoin?
We’re going to break this question down.
- At the time of writing the country with the most crypto holders (and likely Bitcoin holders given the market share and volume of users) is India, accounting for roughly a third of all crypto investors.
- At the time of writing the country with the highest percentage of the population owning cryptocurrency is India, with 20.45% of the population investing in some form of crypto.
But arguably the best way to identify which country has the most Bitcoin is to look at the volume being traded – and the US leads the way in that regard by far.
20. Does the Government own Bitcoin?
While the Government might not own Bitcoin, it has shown great interest in the crypto space – and not simply from the perspective of gaining additional tax revenue.
The Bank of England has stated: “We are looking carefully at how a UK central bank digital currency (CBDC) might work. But we have not yet made the decision to introduce one”.
Watch this space.
21. How much will I get if I invest £/$1000 in Bitcoin?
How much a £1000 investment in Bitcoin depends entirely on the price.
An investment at the start of 2022 however, at the time of writing, would have seen over a 50% loss, so £1,000 would have become less than £500.
22. How much Bitcoin does the average person own?
If we’re talking about a 7.75 billion global population – well… not very much! Remember there are currently just over 19 million Bitcoins in circulation.
Average that out, and it’ll be a few satoshis per person.
If we look at crypto owners specifically, there are some pretty solid estimates of a user base of over 300 million. But within that, not all crypto users will be Bitcoin holders – and that’s before we get into the issue, as noted above, of multiple wallets per person.
With that in mind, it’s hard to say how much Bitcoin the average crypto user holds.
23. Can you buy a house with Bitcoin?
You certainly can. At least, it has been done – and here in the UK, too.
Of course, for such a purchase to work, all parties have to be open to using Bitcoin for the transaction – and while growing in popularity, this is still going to be a massive minority for such a large and important purchase.
24. Who controls Bitcoin’s price?
Bitcoin is decentralised. This means there is no one person or organisation controlling it.
Fiat currencies can be influenced by central banks or governments, with tools such as inflation and interest rates applied to impact its value.
That’s not to say the value of Bitcoin can’t be influenced by various factors – we’ve seen enough volatility in the past 12 months to make that very clear.
Media coverage, market confidence, mining and transaction costs, as well as regulatory attempts can all affect the price.
Conclusion – 24 facts about Bitcoin you need to know about
We’ve covered some of the most common questions about Bitcoin, and shared the facts you need to know about.
Do you have more questions?
With Howlader and Co. you’re in safe hands when it comes to cryptocurrency. We have a team of specialist crypto UK accountants on-hand to deal with all your cryptocurrency tax needs.
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