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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a type of electronic money. It's a decentralized electronic currency with no central bank or single administrator which can be sent from user-to-user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.7

Transactions are verified by network nodes via cryptography and listed in a public dispersed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto9 and released as open-source applications 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, the majority of them using bitcoin.12.

Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal 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 many regulatory agencies have issued investor alarms 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 submitted 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 made when Nakamoto mined the first block of the chain, known as the genesis block.1920 Embedded in the coinbase of the block was 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.

The recipient of the first bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, who made the very first reusable proof-of-work system (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin software on its release date, and on 12 January 2009 received 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 bit gold.25 In 2010, the earliest 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 this code repository over Gavin Andresen. Andresen afterwards 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.

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, value about $214 million.31:222

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

In 2012, bitcoin prices started at $5.27 growing to $13.30 for its calendar year.32 By 9 January the price had risen to $7.38, but then crashed by 49% to $3.80 within the next 16 days. The cost then climbed 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 six hours, each with its own version of the transaction history. Normal operation was restored 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 cost 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 dropped by 83 percent to $45 within the next 3 times.35 On 15 May 2013, US government seized accounts associated with Mt.

881.48 This marked the first time a government why not try this out agency had you can find out more seized bitcoin.4950 The FBI seized about 26,000 bitcoins in October 2013 from the dark web website Silk Road during the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht.515253 Bitcoin's price rose to $755 on 19 November and dropped by 50 percent to $378 exactly the exact same moment.

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

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