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Bitcoin: the First Ten Years

Ten years ago today, the peer-to-peer digital currency Bitcoin made its debut. A mysterious person going by the fictitious name Satoshi Nakamoto released a paper, saying how his new money would work. It was meant to be a global, digital currency that governments and banks couldn’t interfere with, a new era of cryptocurrency was thus ushered in.

Starting trading at 0.3 cent apiece, bitcoin, nowadays, worth thousands of dollars and has since grown to be a market with a whopping $109 bln market cap.  

btc 10 yrs

Bitcoin was born in the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, promising to be a “people’s currency”, free of governments and the banking system.

In 2010, bitcoin was used for the first time, 10,000 bitcoins were exchanged for two pizzas. While being worth $30 at that time, the two pizzas would now cost more than $60mln at current bitcoin price. Vendors across the world join the bandwagon of “bitcoin revolution”. But it still has a long way to go with mass adoption.

However, bitcoin quickly became the currency of choice for drug dealers, cyber-criminals and money-launderers, especially popular in black markets.

Wary about this, most countries have not clearly determined the legality of Bitcoin, preferring to take a wait-and-see approach towards bitcoin. Some countries have indirectly assented to the legal use of Bitcoin by enacting some regulatory oversight, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, the EU, and Finland; while China, Russia, Vietnam, Bolivia, Columbia and Ecuador have outright banned it because of its volatility, decentralized nature, perceived threat to current monetary systems and links to illicit activities.

Bitcoin also promised to be a type of “digital gold”, stay mostly steady when stock exchanges were crashing. In fact, bitcoin’s value has risen and fallen wildly, hitting a peak of almost $20,000 in late 2017 before plummeting to the recent $6,000.

Critics say that as a new form of “money”, bitcoin has been a failure, yet bitcoin’s value has risen by two million percent within seven years. Financial speculators are unlikely to ditch it any time soon. Bullish bitcoin whales/celebrities boldly predict bitcoin will reach $20,000 apiece and have a $20 trillion market by 2028…

How many cryptocurrencies, exchanges and bitcoin addresses?

Bitcoin dominates the crypto market with its market share standing at over 54% and market cap at $109bln.

Currently, there are 2,086 cryptocurrencies leading a market cap of $203bln.

More than 200 crypto exchanges support active trading.

There are more than 22 million bitcoin addresses, of which only 10.92% hold more than 0.1 bitcoin.

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How many shops accept bitcoin?

As of October 23, 2018, 13,381 shops/venues around the world have accepted bitcoin payment, according to Coinmap.org.

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How many Bitcoin ATMs?

There are currently 3,926 bitcoin ATMs across 76 countries around the world, allowing crypto investors to buy their own digital currency on the spot by inserting cash.

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The United States, with 2,185 of them, boasts the most bitcoin ATMs in the world by far; Canada comes in second with 599 bitcoin ATMs.

The past 7 days saw 4 bitcoin ATMs installed per day, according to Coin ATM Radar.

How many countries accept/are against it?

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Credit to howmuch.net as of Jan.2018

Legal and Neutral (Green and Orange): 99 Countries or 40% of World

Restricted (Light Pink): 7 Countries or 3% of World

Illegal (Dark Pink): 10 Countries or 4% of World

No Information (Gray): 130 Countries or 53% of World

How many bitcoins left to be mined?

82.62% of total 21 million bitcoins have been mined, 3,648,875 BTC remains to be mined.

1,800 bitcoin is generated per day under the difficulty of 7.18T with hashrate at 61.54 EH/s.

As of press time, the price for a bitcoin is US$6,335 according to coinmarketcap.

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