While Banks Were Closed, Bitcoin Hit 5,000 Days Online


The world’s largest cryptocurrency reached a milestone on Monday, September 12 – Bitcoin (BTC) celebrated 5,000 days of availability. The network operated almost smoothly for 13.69 years.

In Bitcoin parlance, the blockchain has been online, confirming a valid block of transactions every 10 minutes, on average, for 753,782 blocks (5,000 days). Additionally, 3,464 days have passed since the last downtime incident.

The first Bitcoin block was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto on January 3, 2009. Bitcoin spent 99.9% of the year online, confirming valid blocks on average every 10 minutes until the so-called value overrun incident. The incident refers to the creation of a “strange block”, block 74,638, which resulted in the creation of billions of additional Bitcoin. Five hours later, during block 74,691, the blockchain was soft-forked and the nodes reached consensus.

In 2013, the Bitcoin software split and the chain split in two. The blockchain was down for 6 hours and 20 minutes, causing the price to drop over 23%, reaching lows of $37. The combination of Bitcoin network downtime between 2010 and 2013 creates approximately 0.01% of the total downtime.

Availability of Bitcoin per year. Source: buybitcoinworldwide.com

Bitcoin Influencers (Bitinfluencers?) were quick to honor the occasion with festive browsing accidents, events in which Bitcoiners lose their private keys. Others expressed their gratitude to the anonymous creator of the protocol:

Popular cryptocurrencies such as Solana (SOL) or Ether (ETH) currently cannot compete with the availability and decentralization that Bitcoin is known for. Solana regularly experiences outages, referred to as a “curse” of the network by its co-founder, while the creation of Ethereum was the result of a hard fork.

Related: The Fed, The Merger & $22,000 BTC – 5 Things To Know About Bitcoin This Week

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, vaunted in 2020 that “you can be profitable with as little as 60% uptime”. Nevertheless, Bitcoin is still far from achieving Nakamoto’s promise of a peer-to-peer payment system that cuts out third parties: scaling payments to Layer 2 is an uphill battle.

In the meantime, Bitcoin will have to settle for being the most secure, decentralized, and popular cryptocurrency solution.