Bitcoin is an experimental, 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: managing transactions and issuing money 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 one of the first successful implementations 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.
- Sourced from Bitcoin.org and Wikipedia.
See the bitcoin.org website for how to get started using Bitcoin.
- Bitcoins are sent easily through the Internet, without needing to trust any third party.
- 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
- The United States Marshals Service auctions 50,000 more bitcoins.
- Ross Ulbricht is found guilty of seven offenses related to the creation and running of the Silk Road website.
- Coinbase launches a real-time exchange in the United States.
- This wiki and several other large Bitcoin-related websites are blocked throughout Russia.
- CEX.IO discontinues cloud mining services following a significant correction in the price of Bitcoin.
- Microsoft begins accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for digital goods through BitPay.
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