Did You Know This Montana Bar Made ‘Bitcoins’ Over a Century Ago?
The world of cryptocurrency has been a hot topic for the past few years. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even Dogecoin have been getting increasingly popular especially now that inflation has affected the worth of the American dollar. It has gotten so big that El Salvador recently made Bitcoin a legal currency in their country.
What is a "Bitcoin?"
Bitcoin is not a tangible thing. You cannot have a jar filled with bitcoin. It is a digital currency that is simply a way to pay for things online. All online transactions are kept track of by computer servers. The more transactions people make among other bitcoin users, the higher the price of the currency increases.
Did you know there was "Bitcoin" far before it was cool?
Back in the turn of the 20th century, a "BIT" was considered 1/8th of a dollar, or 12.5 cents. 2 bits was a quarter. The New York Stock Exchange used to list stock prices at 12.5 cents increments. They did so until 1997.
Have you ever heard the saying "2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar?" Or how about the "knocking song" that uses the beat "Shave and a haircut... Two bits."
How did a Montana bar accept Bitcoin in the early 20th century?
According to a social media post from Gary Coffrin, we discovered a Montana bar that has been accepting bits since 1909.
Bob Leavitt’s Road To The Devil Saloon in Ismay (a/k/a Joe, Montana) issued one bit tokens in about 1909. Bob Leavitt was a wild and wacky Texan who had opened saloons in Jordan and later Ismay, 50 miles east of Miles City in Southeastern Montana.
The Road to the Devil Saloon made their own coins to represent 1 bit (or $.125 cents)
Fun fact: There are 8 bits in 1 byte. This may explain the origin of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
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