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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 take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment method. .

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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. 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 verified 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 made 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 for its use in prohibited transactions, its own high electricity consumption, cost volatility, thefts from exchanges, and also the possibility that bitcoin is an economic bubble.13 Bitcoin has also been utilized as an investment, although many regulatory agencies have issued investor alarms 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 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 cube was the following official source 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 recipient of the initial bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk weblink Hal Finney, who created the first reusable proof-of-work platform (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin applications on its launch , and on 12 January 2009 received ten bitcoins out of Nakamoto.2324 Other early cypherpunk fans were creators of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, founder of b-money, and Nick Szabo, creator of bit gold.25 In 2010, the earliest known commercial transaction using bitcoin happened when developer 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 crucial and control of this code 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 grow over the future development course of bitcoin.3029.

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

In 2011, the price started at $0.30 each bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for the year. The cost rose to $31.50 on 8 June. Within a month that 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 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 year.32 By 9 January the price had risen to $7.38, but then crashed by 49 percent to $3.80 over the next 16 days. The cost then rose to $16.41 on 17 August, but fell by 57 percent to $7.10 within the next 3 days.35.

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

Gox experienced processing delays because of insufficient capacity44 resulting in the bitcoin price 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% to $45 within the next three times.35 On 15 May 2013, US government seized accounts associated with Mt.

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