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Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to function with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is performed collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can participate. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting applications that could not be covered by any previous payment method. .
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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a kind of electronic cash. It's a decentralized electronic currency without a central bank or single administrator which can be sent out of user-to-user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network with no need for intermediaries.7
Transactions are confirmed by network nodes via cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger known as a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto9 and released as open-source applications in 2009.10 Bitcoins are made as a reward for a process known as mining.
Research generated by the University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, the majority of them using bitcoin.12.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, its high electricity consumption, cost volatility, thefts from exchanges, and the chance that bitcoin is an economic bubble.13 Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.14
The domain name"bitcoin.org" was registered on 18 August 2008.15 On 31 October 2008, a link to a paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System5 was submitted to some cryptography mailing list.16 Nakamoto implemented the bitcoin applications as open-source code and published it in January 2009.171810 Nakamoto's identity remains unknown.9.
In January 2009, the bitcoin network was made when Nakamoto mined the very first block of this chain, known as the genesis block.1920 Embedded in the coinbase of this block was the following text:"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks. "10 This note has been interpreted as both a timestamp and a comment on the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.
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The receiver of the about his first bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, who created the first reusable proof-of-work system (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin applications on its launch , and on 12 January 2009 obtained ten bitcoins out of Nakamoto.2324 Other early cypherpunk supporters were founders of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, founder of b-money, and Nick Szabo, founder of bit gold.25 In 2010, the first known commercial transaction using bitcoin occurred when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz bought two Papa John's pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin.26.
Nakamoto is estimated to have mined one million bitcoins27 before disappearing in 2010, when he handed the network alert key and control of the code repository over to Gavin Andresen. Andresen later became lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This left opportunity for controversy to grow over the future development course of bitcoin.3029.
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After early"proof-of-concept" transactions, the first major users of bitcoin were black markets, such as Silk Road. During its 30 months of existence, beginning in February 2011, Silk Road exclusively accepted bitcoins as payment, transacting 9.9 million in bitcoins, worth roughly $214 million.31:222
In 2011, the price started at $0.30 each bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for year. The cost rose to $31.50 on 8 June. Within a month that the price fell to $11.00. The next month it fell to $7.80, and in another month to $4.77.32
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Litecoin, an early bitcoin spin-off or altcoin, appeared in October 2011.33 Many altcoins have been created since then.34
In March 2013 that the blockchain briefly split into two independent chains with different rules. The two blockchains operated simultaneously for six hours, each using its own version of the transaction history. Normal operation was restored when the vast majority of the network downgraded to version 0.7 of the bitcoin applications.37 The Mt.
Gox experienced processing delays due to insufficient capacity44 resulting in the bitcoin cost dropping from $266 to $76 before returning to $160 within six hours.45 The bitcoin cost rose to $259 on 10 April, but then crashed by 83 percent to $45 over the next 3 days.35 On 15 May 2013, US government seized accounts connected with Mt.