Did you know that the first Bitcoin faucet gave away 5 BTC per user?

By ssaurel | In Bitcoin We Trust | 21 May 2023

With no exchanges, P2P marketplaces, or escrow services in Bitcoin’s earliest days, acquiring coins wasn’t easy. You either mined them or begged someone on the Bitcointalk forum to sell to you OTC.

Then, along came a developer called Gavin Andresen who created a faucet that allowed anyone to claim free BTC.

“For my first Bitcoin coding project, I decided to do something that sounds really dumb,” wrote Gavin Andresen.

“I created a website that gives away bitcoins.”

It was June 2010 and, in an era when obtaining BTC wasn’t easy, Andresen’s idea proved to be very smart.

For the nascent cryptocurrency community to grow, it was essential that Bitcoin be distributed as widely as possible.

Only through having skin in the game, and sending and receiving BTC, would it be possible for people to understand Bitcoin and for it to grow from an idea into a global phenomenon.

Bitcoin faucets were the original airdrops, and Andresen’s was the first faucet.

To begin with, it dispensed 5 BTC per visitor, each of whom was required to do nothing more than complete a captcha. The notion of receiving a king’s ransom in BTC for little more than visiting a webpage seems outlandish today, but back then, 5 BTC was worthless in dollar terms.

Satoshi Nakamoto was impressed though, enthusing:

"Excellent choice of a first project, nice work. I had planned to do this exact thing if someone else didn’t do it, so when it gets too hard for mortals to generate 50 BTC, new users could get some coins to play with right away."

You're already thinking that these early adopters of Bitcoin were lucky to get 5 BTC without any effort.

Maybe they were.

You're starting to calculate that this represents 2-3 years of today's salary.

But I'll tell you right now to stop looking at the past for two reasons:

1. The past is the past. You will never be able to go back and be one of those who benefited from this Bitcoin effortlessly.

2. The majority of early adopters who got Bitcoin effortlessly sold it in the following years and especially in December 2013, when it reached $1,000 for the first time. If you were lucky enough to have effortless Bitcoin at that time, you probably would have sold it too. So no regrets.

Today, some think it will be the same in 10 years with the Satoshis you can accumulate today.

This gave rise to the famous Meme: "Stay humble, Stack Sats."

It's a message that couldn't be clearer and one that I advise you to apply on a daily basis to make the most of the Bitcoin revolution in the future.

Since every Sat will matter in the future, you should check out Stacker News, a Hacker News-like site that specializes in all things regarding Bitcoin, and allows you to stack Sats by sharing content and comments.

Discover Stacker News

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ssaurel Verified Member

Entrepreneur / Developer / Blogger / Author.

In Bitcoin We Trust
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