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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 performed collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is general public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin enables exciting applications that could not be covered by any preceding payment system. .

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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic money. It is a decentralized electronic currency without a 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 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 published as open-source software 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 prohibited transactions, its own high power consumption, cost volatility, thefts from exchanges, and also the possibility 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 a cryptography mailing list.16 Nakamoto implemented the bitcoin applications as open-source code and released it in January 2009.171810 Nakamoto's identity remains unknown.9.

In January 2009, the bitcoin network was made 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 either a timestamp and a comment on the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.

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The recipient of the first bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, that created the first reusable proof-of-work platform (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin software on its launch date, and on 12 January 2009 obtained ten bitcoins from Nakamoto.2324 Other ancient cypherpunk supporters were founders of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, creator of b-money, and Nick Szabo, founder of little gold.25 In 2010, the earliest known commercial transaction using bitcoin happened when programmer Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two Papa John's pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin.26.

Nakamoto is estimated to have mined one million webpage bitcoins27 before disappearing in 2010, when he handed the network alert crucial and control of this code repository over Gavin Andresen. Andresen later 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 course of bitcoin.3029.

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After ancient"proof-of-concept" transactions, the first major consumers 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, value roughly $214 million.31:222

In 2011, the price started at $0.30 per bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for year. The cost 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 created since then.34

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In 2012, bitcoin prices started at $5.27 growing to $13.30 for its year.32 By 9 January the cost had risen to $7.38, but then dropped by 49% to $3.80 within the next 16 days. The price then climbed to $16.41 on 17 August, but fell by 57 percent to $7.10 over the next 3 days.35.

In March 2013 that the blockchain temporarily split into two independent chains with different rules. The 2 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 prior to returning to $160 within six hours.45 The bitcoin price rose to $259 on 10 April, but then dropped by 83% to $45 within the next three days.35 On 15 May 2013, US government seized accounts associated with Mt.

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