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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-to-peer bitcoin network with no need for intermediaries.7

Transactions are verified by network nodes via cryptography and listed 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 procedure known as mining.

Research produced 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 electricity consumption, price volatility, thefts from exchanges, and the possibility that bitcoin is an economic bubble.13 Bitcoin has also been utilized as an investment, even though several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.14

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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 very 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 either a timestamp and a comment on the instability brought on by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.

The recipient of the initial bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, that created the first reusable proof-of-work system (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin applications on its launch date, and on 12 January click here now 2009 received ten bitcoins out of Nakamoto.2324 Other ancient cypherpunk supporters were creators of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, founder of b-money, and Nick Szabo, creator of bit golden.25 In 2010, the first known commercial transaction using bitcoin occurred when programmer 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 over to Gavin Andresen. Andresen later became lead programmer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This abandoned opportunity for controversy to grow over the future development course of bitcoin.3029.

After ancient"proof-of-concept" transactions, the first significant users 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 this hyperlink about $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 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 2012, bitcoin prices started at $5.27 growing to $13.30 for the year.32 By 9 January the price had risen to $7.38, but then crashed by 49% to $3.80 over the next 16 days. The price then rose to $16.41 on 17 August, but fell by 57% to $7.10 over the next three times.35.

In March 2013 that the blockchain briefly split into two independent chains with different rules. The two blockchains operated simultaneously for half an hour, each with its own version of the transaction history. Normal operation was revived when the majority of the network downgraded to version 0.7 of their bitcoin software.37 The Mt.

Gox experienced processing delays because of 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 dropped by 83% to $45 within the next three days.35 On 15 May 2013, US government captured accounts associated with Mt.

881.48 This marked the first time a government agency had captured bitcoin.4950 The FBI seized about 26,000 bitcoins in October 2013 from the dark website Silk Road during the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht.515253 Bitcoin's cost rose to $755 on 19 November and dropped by 50% to $378 exactly the same day.

In 2014, prices started at $770 and fell to $314 for the year.32 In February 2014 the Mt. Gox exchange, the most significant bitcoin exchange in the time, stated that 850,000 bitcoins had been stolen from its customers, amounting to almost $500 million. Bitcoin's cost fell by nearly half, from $867 to $439 (a 49% drop).

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