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Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out together by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is 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 form of electronic cash. It is a decentralized electronic currency with no 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 confirmed 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 produced 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 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 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 this chain, known as the genesis block.1920 Embedded in the coinbase of the cube 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 see this 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 made the very first reusable proof-of-work system (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin applications on its release date, and on 12 January 2009 received ten bitcoins out of Nakamoto.2324 Other ancient cypherpunk supporters were creators of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, founder of b-money, and Nick Szabo, founder of little gold.25 In 2010, the earliest known business transaction using bitcoin occurred 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 key and control of the code repository over to Gavin Andresen. Andresen later became lead programmer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This abandoned opportunity for controversy to grow over the future development course of bitcoin.3029.

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After early"proof-of-concept" transactions, the first significant 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, worth about $214 million.31:222

In 2011, the price started at $0.30 per 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 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 within the next 16 days. The cost 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 the blockchain temporarily 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 software.37 The Mt.

Gox experienced processing delays because of 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 days.35 On 15 May 2013, US authorities seized accounts connected with Mt.

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