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Bitcoin utilizes peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out together by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting applications that could not be covered by any preceding payment method. .

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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a kind of electronic money. It's a decentralized electronic currency without a central bank or single administrator which can be sent from 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 listed in a public distributed 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 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, most of them using bitcoin.12.

Bitcoin has been criticized because of its use in illegal transactions, its high power consumption, price 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 posted to a 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 bitcoin network was created when Nakamoto mined the first block of this chain, known as the genesis block.1920 Embedded in the coinbase of the 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 brought on by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.

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The receiver of the initial 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 release , and on 12 January 2009 obtained ten bitcoins from Nakamoto.2324 Other ancient cypherpunk supporters were official source creators of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, founder of b-money, and Nick Szabo, founder of little golden.25 In 2010, the earliest known business 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 awake crucial and control of this code repository over Gavin Andresen. Andresen afterwards became lead programmer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This left opportunity for controversy to develop over the future development path 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 per bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for year. The price rose to $31.50 on 8 June. Within a month the cost 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 read the article October 2011.33 Many altcoins have been made since then.34

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In 2012, bitcoin prices started at $5.27 growing to $13.30 for the calendar year.32 By 9 January the price had risen to $7.38, but then dropped by 49% to $3.80 within the next 16 days. The price then rose to Website $16.41 on 17 August, but dropped by 57% to $7.10 within the next three times.35.

In March 2013 that the blockchain temporarily 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 to version 0.7 of the bitcoin software.37 The Mt.

Gox experienced processing delays due to insufficient capacity44 resulting in the bitcoin price dropping from $266 to $76 prior to returning to $160 within six hours.45 The bitcoin price rose to $259 on 10 April, but then dropped by 83 percent to $45 over the next 3 days.35 On 15 May 2013, US authorities captured accounts connected with Mt.

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