Users of Bitcointalk that were interested received 5 bitcoins each from Bitcoin lead developer, Gavin Andresen. This is according to forum posts seen from the platform.
In a June 11, 2010 post, Andresen wrote that he was doing something “dumb”. He then introduced his website which he said would give 5 bitcoins to each customer. He added that the site was stocked with 1,100 BTC for a start.
According to him, he was giving away the coins to make sure that the network was working very well. He said that it was his idea to help make the Bitcoin project a success. Andresen said that users who already had more than enough bitcoins could donate their free coins back to his address.
“Why? Because I want the Bitcoin project to succeed, and I think it is more likely to be a success if people can get a handful of coins to try it out. It can be frustrating to wait until your node generates some coins (and that will get more frustrating in the future), and buying Bitcoins is still a little bit clunky.”
Laszlo Showed Interest
The first comment was from Laszlo, who later became popular for buying pizza at Papa Johns for 10,000 BTC. Laszlo, whose real name is Laszlo Hanyecz, in his comment responded “Awesome”. Two weeks earlier, he had succeeded in becoming the first person to buy a physical good with BTC – the Papa John’s pizza.
More BTC for Bitcoin Giveaway Site
The next comment was from another user, lachesis, who expressed interest in donating more BTC to Andresen’s website to extend the duration of the Bitcoin giveaway.
“I really like that. Do you think it would be good to post when the number of bitcoins left is below 200-300? That way people like me could donate to it to help keep this going.”
In his next comment, Andresen said that the BTC volume available was 1,135 and acknowledged that someone had already made a donation to the website. Lachesis responded that he was the donor and that he made a donation of 50 BTC. In today’s market price, those 50 bitcoins would be worth $1,471,300.
Some Users Got Greedy
Another user, wobber, said that he was able to draw 50 bitcoins from Andresen’s site using Tor. He advised the developer to add a filter to prevent this. Andresen replied that he had already blacklisted 10 nodes on the Tor network and wondered how many nodes are active on the Tor network.
“I am going to add a one-donation-per-bitcoin address rule to make it a teeny-tiny bit harder to cheat. I don’t want to blacklist anybody coming from Tor, though– I think a lot of people using Tor will also be interested in Bitcoin. I’ll implement a CAPTCHA when (if?) the current service starts running low on coins (there are 1,570 bitcoins in the faucet right now!).”
1100 BTC is worth $32.3 million today. The post on Bitcointalk shows how far Bitcoin has come as digital money. It shows the little value Bitcoin had in its early days and the effort put in by the early adopters to make it a mainstream phenomenon. It’s also easy to notice that not much has changed in human greed in 12 years.