rows · There are many different types of Bitcoin mining software available. These tables should . Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to control its creation and management, rather than relying on central authorities. It was invented and implemented by the presumed pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who integrated many existing ideas from the cypherpunk community. Over the course of bitcoin's history, it has undergone. 29 rows · This is a list of Wikipedia articles about for-profit companies with notable commercial .
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Wallets and similar software technically handle all bitcoins as equivalent, establishing the basic level of fungibility. Researchers have pointed out that the history of each bitcoin is registered and publicly available in the blockchain ledger, and that some users may refuse to accept bitcoins coming from controversial transactions, which would harm bitcoin's fungibility. Gox froze accounts of users who deposited bitcoins that were known to have just been stolen.
The blocks in the blockchain were originally limited to 32 megabytes in size. The block size limit of one megabyte was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in Eventually the block size limit of one megabyte created problems for transaction processing, such as increasing transaction fees and delayed processing of transactions. Satoshi Nakamoto stated in his white paper that: "The root problem with conventional currencies is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.
According to the European Central Bank , the decentralization of money offered by bitcoin has its theoretical roots in the Austrian school of economics , especially with Friedrich von Hayek in his book Denationalisation of Money: The Argument Refined ,  in which Hayek advocates a complete free market in the production, distribution and management of money to end the monopoly of central banks.
According to The New York Times , libertarians and anarchists were attracted to the idea. Early bitcoin supporter Roger Ver said: "At first, almost everyone who got involved did so for philosophical reasons. We saw bitcoin as a great idea, as a way to separate money from the state. Nigel Dodd argues in The Social Life of Bitcoin that the essence of the bitcoin ideology is to remove money from social, as well as governmental, control. The declaration includes a message of crypto-anarchism with the words: "Bitcoin is inherently anti-establishment, anti-system, and anti-state.
Bitcoin undermines governments and disrupts institutions because bitcoin is fundamentally humanitarian. David Golumbia says that the ideas influencing bitcoin advocates emerge from right-wing extremist movements such as the Liberty Lobby and the John Birch Society and their anti-Central Bank rhetoric, or, more recently, Ron Paul and Tea Party -style libertarianism. It takes control back from central authorities. It's revolutionary. A study of Google Trends data found correlations between bitcoin-related searches and ones related to computer programming and illegal activity, but not libertarianism or investment topics.
Bitcoin is a digital asset designed to work in peer-to-peer transactions as a currency. Economists define money as serving the following three purposes: a store of value , a medium of exchange , and a unit of account.
Shiller writes that bitcoin has potential as a unit of account for measuring the relative value of goods, as with Chile's Unidad de Fomento , but that "Bitcoin in its present form [ According to research by Cambridge University , between 2. The number of users has grown significantly since , when there were ,—1. The overwhelming majority of bitcoin transactions take place on a cryptocurrency exchange , rather than being used in transactions with merchants.
Prices are not usually quoted in units of bitcoin and many trades involve one, or sometimes two, conversions into conventional currencies. In and bitcoin's acceptance among major online retailers included only three of the top U. Bitcoin is "not actually usable" for retail transactions because of high costs and the inability to process chargebacks , according to Nicholas Weaver, a researcher quoted by Bloomberg.
High price volatility and transaction fees make paying for small retail purchases with bitcoin impractical, according to economist Kim Grauer. However, bitcoin continues to be used for large-item purchases on sites such as Overstock. Bitcoins can be bought on digital currency exchanges. Per researchers, "there is little sign of bitcoin use" in international remittances despite high fees charged by banks and Western Union who compete in this market.
In , the National Australia Bank closed accounts of businesses with ties to bitcoin,  and HSBC refused to serve a hedge fund with links to bitcoin. On 10 December , the Chicago Board Options Exchange started trading bitcoin futures,  followed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange , which started trading bitcoin futures on 17 December The request was motivated by oil company's goal to pay its suppliers. The Winklevoss twins have purchased bitcoin.
Other methods of investment are bitcoin funds. The first regulated bitcoin fund was established in Jersey in July and approved by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Forbes named bitcoin the best investment of According to bitinfocharts. In August , MicroStrategy invested in Bitcoin. The price of bitcoins has gone through cycles of appreciation and depreciation referred to by some as bubbles and busts. According to Mark T.
Because of bitcoin's decentralized nature and its trading on online exchanges located in many countries, regulation of bitcoin has been difficult. However, the use of bitcoin can be criminalized, and shutting down exchanges and the peer-to-peer economy in a given country would constitute a de facto ban.
Regulations and bans that apply to bitcoin probably extend to similar cryptocurrency systems. In October , the Islamic Republic News Agency announced pending regulations that would require bitcoin miners in Iran to sell bitcoin to the Central Bank of Iran , and the central bank would use it for imports. The U. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued four "Customer Advisories" for bitcoin and related investments. Securities and Exchange Commission warned that investments involving bitcoin might have high rates of fraud, and that investors might be solicited on social media sites.
The European Banking Authority issued a warning in focusing on the lack of regulation of bitcoin, the chance that exchanges would be hacked, the volatility of bitcoin's price, and general fraud. An official investigation into bitcoin traders was reported in May Justice Department launched an investigation into possible price manipulation, including the techniques of spoofing and wash trades.
Following the first delivery date in January , the CME requested extensive detailed trading information but several of the exchanges refused to provide it and later provided only limited data. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission then subpoenaed the data from the exchanges.
State and provincial securities regulators, coordinated through the North American Securities Administrators Association , are investigating "bitcoin scams" and ICOs in 40 jurisdictions. Academic research published in the Journal of Monetary Economics concluded that price manipulation occurred during the Mt Gox bitcoin theft and that the market remains vulnerable to manipulation.
Research by John M. Griffin and Amin Shams in suggests that trading associated with increases in the amount of the Tether cryptocurrency and associated trading at the Bitfinex exchange account for about half of the price increase in bitcoin in late The Bank for International Settlements summarized several criticisms of bitcoin in Chapter V of their annual report. The criticisms include the lack of stability in bitcoin's price, the high energy consumption, high and variable transactions costs, the poor security and fraud at cryptocurrency exchanges, vulnerability to debasement from forking , and the influence of miners.
In , The Economist described these criticisms as unfair, since bitcoin had been relatively stable during that year, and the shady image may have compelled users to overlook the capabilities of the blockchain technology. Bitcoin, along with other cryptocurrencies, has been described as an economic bubble by at least eight Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureates at various times, including Robert Shiller on 1 March ,  Joseph Stiglitz on 29 November ,  and Richard Thaler on 21 December Bitcoin has been criticized for the amount of electricity consumed by mining.
As of [update] , The Economist estimated that even if all miners used modern facilities, the combined electricity consumption would be In July BBC reported bitcoin consumes about 7 gigawatts, 0. To lower the costs, bitcoin miners have set up in places like Iceland where geothermal energy is cheap and cooling Arctic air is free.
Concerns about bitcoin's environmental impact relate bitcoin's energy consumption to carbon emissions. The results of recent studies analyzing bitcoin's carbon footprint vary.
Journalists, economists, investors, and the central bank of Estonia have voiced concerns that bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. Bitcoin is vulnerable to theft through phishing , scamming , and hacking. The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and the media.
Senate held a hearing on virtual currencies in November Several news outlets have asserted that the popularity of bitcoins hinges on the ability to use them to purchase illegal goods. In , researchers at the University of Kentucky found "robust evidence that computer programming enthusiasts and illegal activity drive interest in bitcoin, and find limited or no support for political and investment motives".
There were an estimated 24 million bitcoin users primarily using bitcoin for illegal activity. Velde, Senior Economist at the Chicago Fed , described it as "an elegant solution to the problem of creating a digital currency".
Louis , stated that bitcoin is a threat to the establishment, which he argues is a good thing for the Federal Reserve System and other central banks , because it prompts these institutions to operate sound policies.
PayPal President David A. Marcus calls bitcoin a "great place to put assets". Bitcoin Core is free and open-source software that serves as a bitcoin node the set of which form the bitcoin network and provides a bitcoin wallet which fully verifies payments. It is considered to be bitcoin's reference implementation. Bitcoin Core includes a transaction verification engine and connects to the bitcoin network as a full node.
It does not facilitate the buying or selling of bitcoin. It allows users to generate QR codes to receive payment. The software validates the entire blockchain , which includes all bitcoin transactions ever. This distributed ledger which has reached more than gigabytes in size as of Jan , must be downloaded or synchronized before full participation of the client may occur.
It also provides access to testnet, a global testing environment that imitates the bitcoin main network using an alternative blockchain where valueless "test bitcoins" are used. Regtest or Regression Test Mode creates a private blockchain which is used as a local testing environment. Checkpoints which have been hard coded into the client are used only to prevent Denial of Service attacks against nodes which are initially syncing the chain.
For this reason the checkpoints included are only as of several years ago. This limited the maximum network capacity to about three transactions per second. A network alert system was included by Satoshi Nakamoto as a way of informing users of important news regarding bitcoin.
It had become obsolete as news on bitcoin is now widely disseminated. Bitcoin Core includes a scripting language inspired by Forth that can define transactions and specify parameters. Two stacks are used - main and alt. Looping is forbidden. Bitcoin Core uses OpenTimestamps to timestamp merge commits. The original creator of the bitcoin client has described their approach to the software's authorship as it being written first to prove to themselves that the concept of purely peer-to-peer electronic cash was valid and that a paper with solutions could be written.
The lead developer is Wladimir J. Andresen left the role of lead developer for bitcoin to work on the strategic development of its technology. In Charles Stross ' science fiction novel, Neptune's Brood , the universal interstellar payment system is known as "bitcoin" and operates using cryptography. Bitcoin was obscure back then, and I figured had just enough name recognition to be a useful term for an interstellar currency: it'd clue people in that it was a networked digital currency.
The documentary The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin portrays the diversity of motives behind the use of bitcoin by interviewing people who use it. These include a computer programmer and a drug dealer. It covers studies of cryptocurrencies and related technologies, and is published by the University of Pittsburgh. Authors are also asked to include a personal bitcoin address in the first page of their papers.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Decentralized cryptocurrency. Issuance will permanently halt c. Main article: History of bitcoin. Number of bitcoin transactions per month, semilogarithmic plot .
Number of unspent transaction outputs . For broader coverage of this topic, see Blockchain. See also: Bitcoin network. The chips pictured have become obsolete due to increasing difficulty. Today, bitcoin mining companies dedicate facilities to housing and operating large amounts of high-performance mining hardware.
For broader coverage of this topic, see Mining pool. For broader coverage of this topic, see Cryptocurrency wallet. A paper wallet with a banknote -like design. Both the private key and the address are visible in text form and as 2D barcodes. A paper wallet with the address visible for adding or checking stored funds.
The part of the page containing the private key is folded over and sealed. A brass token with a private key hidden beneath a tamper-evident security hologram. A part of the address is visible through a transparent part of the hologram. A hardware wallet peripheral which processes bitcoin payments without exposing any credentials to the computer.
See also: Fork blockchain and List of bitcoin forks. Main article: Bitcoin scalability problem. Further information: Crypto-anarchism. Main article: Economics of bitcoin. Price, [j] semilogarithmic plot. Annual volatility . Further information: Legality of bitcoin by country or territory.
Further information: Cryptocurrency bubble and Economics of bitcoin. Further information: Cryptocurrency and security. The start screen under Fedora. Business and economics portal Free and open-source software portal Internet portal Numismatics portal Money portal.
Some sources use Bitcoin , capitalized, to refer to the technology and network and bitcoin , lowercase, to refer to the unit of account. The timestamp of the block is This block is unlike all other blocks in that it does not have a previous block to reference. The fact is that gold miners are rewarded for producing gold, while bitcoin miners are not rewarded for producing bitcoins; they are rewarded for their record-keeping services. Usually, the public key or bitcoin address is also printed, so that a holder of a paper wallet can check or add funds without exposing the private key to a device.
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The probability of a slower attacker catching up diminishes exponentially as subsequent blocks are added. To compensate for increasing hardware speed and varying interest in running nodes over time, the difficulty of finding a valid hash is adjusted roughly every two weeks. If blocks are generated too quickly, the difficulty increases and more hashes are required to make a block and to generate new bitcoins. Bitcoin mining is a competitive endeavor. An " arms race " has been observed through the various hashing technologies that have been used to mine bitcoins: basic CPUs , high-end GPUs common in many gaming computers , FPGAs and ASICs all have been used, each reducing the profitability of the less-specialized technology.
The difficulty within the mining process involves self-adjusting to the network's accumulated mining power. As bitcoins have become more difficult to mine, computer hardware manufacturing companies have seen an increase in sales of high-end ASIC products. Computing power is often bundled together or "pooled" to reduce variance in miner income.
Individual mining rigs often have to wait for long periods to confirm a block of transactions and receive payment. In a pool, all participating miners get paid every time a participating server solves a block.
This payment depends on the amount of work an individual miner contributed to help find that block. In , Mark Gimein estimated electricity consumption to be about As of [update] , The Economist estimated that even if all miners used modern facilities, the combined electricity consumption would be Seeking lower electricity costs, some bitcoin miners have set up in places like Iceland where geothermal energy is cheap and cooling Arctic air is free.
A rough overview of the process to mine bitcoins involves: . By convention, the first transaction in a block is a special transaction that produces new bitcoins owned by the creator of the block. This is the incentive for nodes to support the network. The reward for mining halves every , blocks.
It started at 50 bitcoin, dropped to 25 in late and to The most recent halving, which occurred in May with block number , , reduced the block reward to 6. This halving process is programmed to continue a maximum 64 times before new coin creation ceases. Various potential attacks on the bitcoin network and its use as a payment system, real or theoretical, have been considered.
The bitcoin protocol includes several features that protect it against some of those attacks, such as unauthorized spending, double spending, forging bitcoins, and tampering with the blockchain. Other attacks, such as theft of private keys, require due care by users. Unauthorized spending is mitigated by bitcoin's implementation of public-private key cryptography. For example; when Alice sends a bitcoin to Bob, Bob becomes the new owner of the bitcoin.
Eve observing the transaction might want to spend the bitcoin Bob just received, but she cannot sign the transaction without the knowledge of Bob's private key. A specific problem that an internet payment system must solve is double-spending , whereby a user pays the same coin to two or more different recipients. An example of such a problem would be if Eve sent a bitcoin to Alice and later sent the same bitcoin to Bob. The bitcoin network guards against double-spending by recording all bitcoin transfers in a ledger the blockchain that is visible to all users, and ensuring for all transferred bitcoins that they haven't been previously spent.
If Eve offers to pay Alice a bitcoin in exchange for goods and signs a corresponding transaction, it is still possible that she also creates a different transaction at the same time sending the same bitcoin to Bob.
By the rules, the network accepts only one of the transactions. This is called a race attack , since there is a race which transaction will be accepted first. Alice can reduce the risk of race attack stipulating that she will not deliver the goods until Eve's payment to Alice appears in the blockchain. A variant race attack which has been called a Finney attack by reference to Hal Finney requires the participation of a miner.
Instead of sending both payment requests to pay Bob and Alice with the same coins to the network, Eve issues only Alice's payment request to the network, while the accomplice tries to mine a block that includes the payment to Bob instead of Alice. There is a positive probability that the rogue miner will succeed before the network, in which case the payment to Alice will be rejected. As with the plain race attack, Alice can reduce the risk of a Finney attack by waiting for the payment to be included in the blockchain.
Each block that is added to the blockchain, starting with the block containing a given transaction, is called a confirmation of that transaction. Ideally, merchants and services that receive payment in bitcoin should wait for at least one confirmation to be distributed over the network, before assuming that the payment was done.
Deanonymisation is a strategy in data mining in which anonymous data is cross-referenced with other sources of data to re-identify the anonymous data source. Along with transaction graph analysis, which may reveal connections between bitcoin addresses pseudonyms ,   there is a possible attack  which links a user's pseudonym to its IP address. If the peer is using Tor , the attack includes a method to separate the peer from the Tor network, forcing them to use their real IP address for any further transactions.
The attack makes use of bitcoin mechanisms of relaying peer addresses and anti- DoS protection. Each miner can choose which transactions are included in or exempted from a block. Upon receiving a new transaction a node must validate it: in particular, verify that none of the transaction's inputs have been previously spent. To carry out that check, the node needs to access the blockchain. Any user who does not trust his network neighbors, should keep a full local copy of the blockchain, so that any input can be verified.
As noted in Nakamoto's whitepaper, it is possible to verify bitcoin payments without running a full network node simplified payment verification, SPV. A user only needs a copy of the block headers of the longest chain, which are available by querying network nodes until it is apparent that the longest chain has been obtained.
Then, get the Merkle tree branch linking the transaction to its block. Linking the transaction to a place in the chain demonstrates that a network node has accepted it, and blocks added after it further establish the confirmation. While it is possible to store any digital file in the blockchain, the larger the transaction size, the larger any associated fees become. Various items have been embedded, including URLs to child pornography, an ASCII art image of Ben Bernanke , material from the Wikileaks cables , prayers from bitcoin miners, and the original bitcoin whitepaper.
The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and the media. Senate held a hearing on virtual currencies in November Several news outlets have asserted that the popularity of bitcoins hinges on the ability to use them to purchase illegal goods.
A CMU researcher estimated that in , 4. Due to the anonymous nature and the lack of central control on these markets, it is hard to know whether the services are real or just trying to take the bitcoins. Several deep web black markets have been shut by authorities. In October Silk Road was shut down by U. Some black market sites may seek to steal bitcoins from customers. The bitcoin community branded one site, Sheep Marketplace, as a scam when it prevented withdrawals and shut down after an alleged bitcoins theft.
According to the Internet Watch Foundation , a UK-based charity, bitcoin is used to purchase child pornography, and almost such websites accept it as payment. Bitcoin isn't the sole way to purchase child pornography online, as Troels Oertling, head of the cybercrime unit at Europol , states, " Ukash and paysafecard Bitcoins may not be ideal for money laundering, because all transactions are public. In early , an operator of a U.
A report by the UK's Treasury and Home Office named "UK national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing" October found that, of the twelve methods examined in the report, bitcoin carries the lowest risk of being used for money laundering, with the most common money laundering method being the banks.
Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company and its founder in "with defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme involving bitcoin". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Bitcoin mining. Peer-to-peer network that processes and records bitcoin transactions. For broader coverage of this topic, see Bitcoin. See also: Mining pool. Main article: Online transaction processing.
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