Reddit recalls the defunct website ‘Bitcoin faucet’ which gave away 19,700 BTC for free
Reddit’s r / cryptocurrency community revived an interesting piece of Bitcoin (BTC) history on Sunday. A new thread recalls the time when the American software developer Gavin Andresen gave away 19,700 BTC.
A thread started by “uGroundbreakingLack78” led the Reddit community back to June 2010, when Andresen first started the so-called Bitcoin faucet website. Using the domain “freebitcoins.appspot.com”, Andresen enabled users to earn 5 BTC per day just by solving a captcha, a program designed to distinguish human and machine input.
User “uGroundbreakingLack78” explains:
“To fill up the first tap, Andresen loaded it with its own 1,100 BTC. After these were given away, the faucet was reloaded and early Bitcoin miners and whales donated coins as well. “
The faucet’s creator announced his “really stupid” idea of giving away free BTC on the now infamous Bitcointalk forum in a post that appeared on June 11, 2010. His motivation: “[…] I want the Bitcoin project to be successful, and I think it is more likely to succeed if people are given a handful of coins to try out. “
Andresen played an important role in the development of Bitcoin during the formative days of Bitcoin. He was the lead software developer for BTC’s reference implementation after joining the core development team in 2012 after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin, announced he was leaving the project.
Although the Bitcoin Faucet website has stopped working, a screenshot of the domain’s homepage revealed a very basic facility that users can use to earn BTC and set up their digital wallet. The Bitcoin faucet reportedly gave away 19,700 BTC to users just to solve a captcha. These BTC are worth nearly $ 1.2 billion at today’s prices.
The Bitcoin Faucet website as it appeared sometime in 2010. Image via Reddit
With Bitcoin amid yet another bull market, many investors would like to get their hands on just 5 BTC. However, with current values, this is easier said than done. Given the apparent lack of BTC on major exchanges, the flagship digital currency could soar higher in the short term. On-chain data shows that Bitcoin’s moon shot could still be months away, meaning investors remain largely bullish.
Bitcoin price peaked at just under $ 62,000 in mid-March before the rally paused and altcoins caught up. At current values, Bitcoin’s market capitalization exceeds $ 1 trillion. Large institutions and companies have invested in the digital asset, among other things, as a hedge against currency devaluations.