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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 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 dealt with by any preceding payment system. .

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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a kind of electronic cash. It is a decentralized digital currency with no central bank or single administrator that can be sent from 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 dispersed 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 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 because of its use in illegal transactions, its high electricity consumption, cost volatility, thefts from exchanges, and the possibility that bitcoin is an economic bubble.13 Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, even though 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 released 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 the 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 brought on by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.

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The receiver of the initial bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, who made 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 bit gold.25 In 2010, the first known business 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 repository over to Gavin Andresen. Andresen afterwards became lead programmer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This abandoned 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 consumers 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 roughly $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 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 began 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 price then rose 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 briefly split into two independent chains with different rules. The 2 blockchains operated simultaneously for half an hour, each with its own version of the transaction history. Normal operation was revived when the vast 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 before returning to $160 within six hours.45 The bitcoin cost rose to $259 on 10 April, but then top article crashed by 83 percent to $45 within the next 3 days.35 On 15 May 2013, US government captured accounts associated with Mt.

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