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Bitcoin utilizes 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 general public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can participate. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any preceding payment method. .
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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a kind of electronic money. It is a decentralized digital currency with no central bank or single administrator that can be sent out of user-to-user on the peer reviewed bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.7
Transactions are confirmed by network nodes through cryptography and listed in a public dispersed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of individuals using the name Satoshi Nakamoto9 and published as open-source software in 2009.10 Bitcoins are created as a reward for a procedure 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, most of them using bitcoin.12.
Bitcoin has been criticized because of its use in prohibited transactions, its high power consumption, price volatility, thefts from exchanges, and also the possibility that bitcoin is an economic bubble.13 Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although many 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 posted to some cryptography mailing list.16 Nakamoto implemented the bitcoin software as open-source code and published it in January 2009.171810 Nakamoto's identity remains unknown.9.
In January 2009, the index bitcoin network was created when Nakamoto mined the first block of this chain, known as the genesis block.1920 Embedded in the coinbase of this block has been 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 first bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, who created the first reusable proof-of-work system (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin software on its launch date, and on 12 January 2009 received ten bitcoins from 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 happened when developer Laszlo Hanyecz purchased 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 over to Gavin Andresen. Andresen later became lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This abandoned opportunity for controversy to grow over the future development path of bitcoin.3029.
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After ancient"proof-of-concept" transactions, the first significant consumers of bitcoin were black markets, for example 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 about $214 million.31:222
In 2011, the price started at $0.30 each bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for the year. The price rose to $31.50 on 8 June. Within a month the price fell to $11.00. The next month it dropped 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 made 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 revived when the majority of the network downgraded their website to version 0.7 of the bitcoin applications.37 The Mt.
Gox experienced processing delays because of insufficient capacity44 resulting in the bitcoin price dropping from $266 to $76 prior to returning to $160 within six hours.45 The bitcoin cost rose to $259 on 10 April, but then crashed by 83 percent to $45 within the next three days.35 On 15 May 2013, US government seized accounts associated with Mt.