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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 performed together by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is general public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can participate. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin enables exciting applications that could not be covered by any previous payment system. .

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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It's 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 with no need for intermediaries.7

Transactions are confirmed by network nodes through 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 released as open-source applications in 2009.10 Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process 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 for its use in prohibited transactions, its high power consumption, price 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

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 released 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 this cube was the following 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 caused by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.

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The recipient of the initial bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, who created the first reusable proof-of-work system (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin software on its release date, and on 12 January 2009 obtained ten bitcoins out of Nakamoto.2324 Other ancient cypherpunk supporters were founders of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, creator of b-money, and Nick Szabo, creator of bit golden.25 In 2010, the earliest known business transaction using bitcoin happened when programmer 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 awake key and control of the code more information repository over Gavin Andresen. Andresen later became lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This left opportunity for controversy to develop 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 roughly $214 million.31:222

In 2011, the price started at $0.30 per bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for the 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 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 cost had risen to $7.38, but then dropped by 49% to $3.80 within the next 16 days. The price then climbed to $16.41 on 17 August, but dropped by 57 percent to $7.10 within the next three days.35.

In March 2013 that the blockchain briefly split into two independent chains with different rules. The 2 blockchains operated simultaneously for six hours, 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 applications.37 The Mt.

Gox experienced processing delays due to 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 over the next 3 times.35 On 15 May 2013, US authorities seized accounts associated with Mt.

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