Cryptocurrency is pretty straightforward, right? It’s all online, it’s decentralized, there is “money” you can send back and forth to other users, and it’s made a lot of people rich. What more do you need to know?
While all the points mentioned above are technically correct, there is much, much more to the story of cryptocurrency than meets the eye. Let’s walk through some interesting facts and stories behind this global phenomenon:
No one knows who invented a cryptocurrency
The very first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was released as open-source software in 2009. 10 years later it is a global force commanding a market cap of $172 billion. Some entrepreneurs have referred to it as “the most valuable startup of the last decade”. But the most amazing fact about it? No one knows who created Bitcoin.
Now, to be clear, there is a “creator”. A person (or persons) by the name of “Satoshi Nakamoto” was the originator who introduced Bitcoin to cryptography mailing lists in 2009. He/she also guided the project through the early years, posting often on the BitcoinTalk forum under the simple username of Satoshi. But Satoshi quickly disappeared in 2010 after there was a swarm of interest in Bitcoin based on WikiLeaks accepting it as a donation method.
Since then, Satoshi has remained silent as his/her/their project has garnered worldwide acclaim. The coins accessible by Satoshi, worth billions of US dollars at this point in time, have also remained unmoved. This has only added to the mystique of the project. How could a creator not cash in on the fortune of a lifetime?
The identity of Satoshi continues to be the most interesting mystery in crypto. Should it ever be revealed, it will be the story of a lifetime.
A coin once sponsored a NASCAR
One of the most spectacular stories from the early days of crypto came in March of 2014. The crypto “Dogecoin” based on the popular doge meme had skyrocketed to popularity earlier in the year based on a joking, fun-loving community. Everyone was using their Dogecoins to tip each other small amounts of crypto. Then someone had a bold idea: why not combine the tips towards a bigger goal?
A fundraiser was born on Reddit and the community came together to raise $55,000 and send NASCAR driver Josh Wise to compete at the Talladega Superspeedway. The care was nicknamed the #98 Moonrocket and Josh commented after the race “I can’t thank the dogecoin and Reddit community enough for the support.”
Even crazier than that? Dogecoin wasn’t a flash in the pan. The coin is still going strong today with a market cap of $300 million. Want to learn more about this interesting coin? You can check out this article on how to buy Dogecoin from Cryptocurrency Posters.
Crypto isn’t anonymous
This is something that often comes to the surprise of many outsiders who are just learning about crypto. While some new users think that cryptocurrencies are completely anonymous due to their descriptions as “digital cash”, the technology that backs them (blockchains) usually allows for all transactions to be public. It’s actually one of the things that makes cryptos work in the first place: if transactions weren’t public, it would be hard to confirm exactly who had which coins in which address.
But while the majority of well-known cryptos are not anonymous like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, there are some that put anonymity at the forefront. The most well known of these is Monero. It uses a clever implementation of ring signatures, ring confidential transactions, and stealth addresses to hide the origins and destinations of all transactions on the network. This makes transactions completely untraceable. While there are other coins that have copied and tweaked these privacy features, Monero remains the gold standard in crypto privacy. Further details can be found on the Monero website here. And speaking of other coins…There are more than 2500 different cryptos
So we’ve covered Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Monero, and some interesting stories behind them. But, for each of those coins, there are at least 100 times more stories and interesting facts to discover. And beyond them? Well, the crypto market is made up of over 2500 different coins and projects. The sheer amount to discover and explore is staggering.
To be clear though, many of these projects do not have much to offer. Because it can be fairly easy to launch a cryptocurrency, it is common to find projects that have been launched with the sole purpose of trying to sucker in investors. Scammers will hype a project, then bail and run with the money that investors put in.
While it’s unfortunate that this happens, it’s the reality of a decentralized economy where anyone can participate. So if you want to join and begin investing in cryptocurrencies, be sure to do your research on the project that you choose. If you can find a solid coin that serves a real purpose, it will be worth the time you spent. But guaranteeing these results is in your hands alone.