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Welcome to the Bitcoin Wiki,
for all your Bitcoin information needs.
1,064 pages. Established April 14, 2010.

This wiki is maintained by the Bitcoin community.


Bitcoin usage worldwide.

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network.

The original Bitcoin software by Satoshi Nakamoto was released under the MIT license. Most client software, derived or "from scratch", also use open source licensing.

Bitcoin is the first successful implementation of a distributed crypto-currency, described in part in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list. Building upon the notion that money is any object, or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context, Bitcoin is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.


  • Bitcoins are sent easily through the Internet, without needing to trust any third party.
  • Transactions:
    • Are irreversible by design
    • Are fast. Funds received are available for spending within minutes.
    • Cost very little, especially compared to other payment networks.
  • The supply of bitcoins is regulated by software and the agreement of users of the system and cannot be manipulated by any government, bank, organization or individual. The limited inflation of the Bitcoin system's money supply is distributed evenly (by CPU power) to miners who help secure the network.

In the news

  • BitPay reports a theft of 5,000 BTC and is suing its insurer for declining to pay a $1 million settlement.
  • Mark Karpelès (pictured) is charged with embezzling ¥321 million from Mt. Gox customers.
  • Shaun Bridges pleads guilty to stealing $820,000 from the Silk Road.
  • A flash crash on Bitfinex brings a low of $162 before quickly recovering.
  • Bitcoin Core 0.11 is released.
Ongoing: Block size limit controversy

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