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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic money. It is a decentralized electronic currency with no central bank or single administrator that 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 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 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
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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 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 created when Nakamoto mined the 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 caused by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.
The receiver 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 release date, and on 12 January 2009 received ten bitcoins from Nakamoto.2324 Other ancient cypherpunk fans were founders of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, founder of b-money, and Nick Szabo, creator of little 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 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 path of bitcoin.3029.
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, worth about $214 million.31:222
In 2011, the price started at $0.30 per bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for the year. The cost rose to $31.50 on 8 June. Within a month that the price 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 see this website been made since then.34
In 2012, bitcoin prices started at $5.27 growing to $13.30 for its 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 percent to $7.10 within the next 3 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 their bitcoin applications.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 price rose to $259 on 10 April, but then crashed by 83 percent to $45 within the next 3 days.35 On 15 May 2013, US authorities seized accounts connected 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 crashed by 50 percent to $378 exactly the same day.
In 2014, prices began at $770 and dropped to $314 for the year.32 In February 2014 the Mt. Gox exchange, the most significant bitcoin exchange in the time, said that 850,000 bitcoins had been stolen from its own clients, amounting to almost $500 million. Bitcoin's price fell by nearly half, from $867 to $439 (a 49% drop).