Important Numbers You Should Know About Bitcoin

Unknown to many, Bitcoin has several important numbers associated with it. And as such, there are 210,000 blocks between each halving, a total supply of 21 million coins, and a total market capitalization of circa $843 billion as of February 2023. Other significant numbers include the fields in a transaction and the connection to 3, 6 and 9 which math suggests is 64% of the key as seen in this excerpt.

Let’s dig in!

210, 000: Whenever you hear someone talk about the block reward and halving, they refer to the 210,000 hard-coded limits on the number of blocks between each halving. This means that on average, for every 210,000 blocks, there will be a halving event where the block rewards are cut in half (to 25 BTC).

21m: Typically, 21m is the maximum number of bitcoins that can ever exist. In practice, more than 21 million bitcoins have already been mined, and the protocol will never allow for more than 21m bitcoins.

1MB: This is the amount of information that can be placed in a block, i.e. the maximum transaction capacity of the Bitcoin system.

26-35: Bitcoin addresses come in 26–35 characters, and all addresses begin with either ‘1’ or ‘3’, to indicate whether it is a pay-to-public-key-hash or pay-to-script-hash. The primary purpose of a bitcoin address is to be able to receive funds from someone who wants to make a payment.

2048: Refers to the size of a private key that is used to safeguard a user’s bitcoins. An individual’s private key serves as a password to access their bitcoins. Usually, to sign transactions and guarantee that only the bitcoins’ owner has access to them.

100: Bitcoin transactions require confirmation by other nodes before they can be spent. Each block in the blockchain is a collection of transactions and has to be confirmed before the next block can be created. The number of confirmations required before a UTXO from a coinbase transaction can be spent varies between cryptocurrencies. An example is bitcoin requires 100 confirmations, while Dogecoin requires just 5.

2³² (2 to the 64th power): It is the number of child keys derived from an extended key. Unfortunately, only the parent and grandparent keys are essential for the proper operation of the bitcoin protocol. You need a parent key for a successful transaction, but you do not need either a grandparent’s or a child’s private key to spend funds.

8: This is a very significant number in the Bitcoin world. It’s the number of decimal places a bitcoin can be divided into. The smallest of which is called a Satoshi.

3: SHA256 occurs three times to generate the address from the public key. This is required for each transaction and ensures that no matter how secure bitcoin addresses are, they can always be traced back to the person who owns them.

1.1158 mod 10⁷⁷: The Kobiltz curve is bitcoin’s elliptical curve and is used to derive the public-private key pairs. The number 1.1158 is its modulus, which equals 10⁷⁷ when expressed as a decimal number.

105: Bitcoin’s network is experiencing a lot of activity right now. In fact, there are over 100 bitcoin forks that have sprung up since BTC launched its mainnet in 2009 — apparently, only 74 of these are considered to be ‘active’.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.