Just about everything that has to do with the digital currency Bitcoin is at least a little odd.
But there are some Bitcoin facts that are truly bizarre – things that could only happen in the universe of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, which exists entirely in cyberspace, has attracted a lot of attention in recent months as the Bitcoin price has soared from less than $200 in September to more than $1,200 at the end of November. The world's leading "altcurrency" is trading for about $800 now.
Amid signs that Bitcoin is on the verge of going mainstream, there are a lot of crazy Bitcoin facts and stories that you'd never hear about a conventional currency like the dollar or the euro.
Like the saying goes, you can't make this stuff up…
Ten Weird Bitcoin Facts
- Odd Bitcoin Fact No. 1: Its Creator Is a Mystery
No one has ever seen the person who supposedly invented Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. All that is known is that someone (or some group) published a paper describing the system in 2009 and the Bitcoin software appeared shortly afterward. In the early days of Bitcoin, Nakamoto communicated with other software developers, but by 2010 all communication ceased. Many in the tech community have speculated on who Nakamoto really is, but no one knows for certain.
- Odd Bitcoin Fact No. 2: Nobody's in Charge
Whoever he/she/they were, the creators of Bitcoin designed it to be essentially autonomous once launched. No individual, group, company, or government controls Bitcoin. (This is why libertarians and anti-government types love Bitcoin.) The idea was to create a currency that avoids the meddling policies of a central bank like the U.S. Federal Reserve, which often tries to "fix" economies by printing more and more of their fiat currencies, thus devaluing existing units of the money.
- Odd Bitcoin Fact No. 3: The Priciest Pizza Ever
Back in May 2010, an early Bitcoin enthusiast, Lazlo Hanyecz, wanted to prove you could buy something with the digital currency. So he posted a challenge on a Bitcoin Internet forum, and four days later another user accepted. Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC -worth just $25 total back then – for two "The Works" pizzas from Papa John's. Since then the skyrocketing value of Bitcoin has made those pizzas the most expensive snack of all time. At today's rate of $800 per Bitcoin, those pizzas would be worth a piping hot $8 million.
And we're just getting started…