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One of the first supporters, adopters, contributor to bitcoin and receiver of the first bitcoin transaction was programmer Hal Finney. Finney downloaded the bitcoin software the day it was released, and received 10 bitcoins from Nakamoto in the world’s first bitcoin transaction on 12 January 2009.[21][22] Other early supporters were Wei Dai, creator of bitcoin predecessor b-money, and Nick Szabo, creator of bitcoin predecessor bit gold.[13]
A transaction takes place when there is a transfer of value from one bitcoin wallet to another. These transactions are included in the block chain. A bitcoin wallet uses a secret piece of data that is referred to as a private key or seed. This private key or seed is used to sign transactions using Bitcoin and provides proof that the transaction came from the owner of the bitcoin wallet. This signature also makes the transaction unalterable once it has been issued. Transactions are broadcast to the network within a matter of minutes.
No one. The Bitcoin network is controlled and maintained by all of the network’s users. Developers are constantly working to improve the software, but the software versions must follow the same rules and the network can only operate on a consensus basis.
After years of debating about how Bitcoin should scale the controversy turned into action. The Bitcoin code split in two different directions. One direction supporting the optimization of Bitcoin blocks through Segwit, while the other direction supports bigger blocks of up to 8mb.
These past issues could potentially fuel additional demand for an alternative currency system like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin. As trust in global banks and financial institutions has dwindled, the move toward a cashless global economy system could pick up steam.
Bitcoin does come with some potential disadvantages. The value of a unit of the digital currency can potentially fluctuate wildly, and this can leave an owner of bitcoins unsure of the value of their holdings.
On the subject of business which banks won’t (openly) touch, there’s no avoiding mention of darknet drug markets. While the most (in)famous venue, Silk Road, was taken down, the trade of contraband for bitcoins continues unabated on the darknet. Although only 5% of British users have admitted to purchasing narcotics with Bitcoin, that figure is likely understated for reasons of legal risk. Finally, the media controversy over darknet markets has likely brought Bitcoin to the attention of many who otherwise wouldn’t have encountered it.
“Satoshi Nakamoto” is presumed to be a pseudonym for the person or people who designed the original bitcoin protocol in 2008 and launched the network in 2009. Nakamoto was responsible for creating the majority of the official bitcoin software and was active in making modifications and posting technical information on the bitcoin forum.[13] Investigations into the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto were attempted by The New Yorker and Fast Company. The New Yorker’s investigation brought up at least two possible candidates: Michael Clear and Vili Lehdonvirta. Fast Company’s investigation brought up circumstantial evidence linking an encryption patent application filed by Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry on 15 August 2008, and the bitcoin.org domain name which was registered 72 hours later. The patent application (#20100042841) contained networking and encryption technologies similar to bitcoin’s, and textual analysis revealed that the phrase “… computationally impractical to reverse” appeared in both the patent application and bitcoin’s whitepaper.[12] All three inventors explicitly denied being Satoshi Nakamoto.[161][162] In May 2013, Ted Nelson speculated that Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki is Satoshi Nakamoto.[163] Later in 2013 the Israeli researchers Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir pointed to Silk Road-linked Ross William Ulbricht as the possible person behind the cover. The two researchers based their suspicion on an analysis of the network of bitcoin transactions.[164] These allegations were contested[165] and Ron and Shamir later retracted their claim.[166]
Volatility · 2014 was the only year so far in which Bitcoin ended lower than it started. After continuing the rally from the previous year, it peaked around $850 in February and ended the year down at $378.64. The price of a Bitcoin continued to decrease for a few months in 2015, but increased toward the end of the year to $362.73 on December 1st.
Bitcoin is one of the most important inventions in all of human history. For the first time ever, anyone can send or receive any amount of money with anyone else, anywhere on the planet, conveniently and without restriction. It’s the dawn of a better, more free world.
After a month-long jury trial that ended in Ulbricht’s conviction, Judge Katherine Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison without parole. Ulbricht had been found guilty on 7 charges of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics in February due to his role as the operator of the Silk Road marketplace (a.k.a “Dread Pirate Roberts”). In a letter to Judge Katherine Forrest prior to his sentencing, Ulbricht admitted to running the Silk Road and made a plea for leniency. The judge’s sentencing statement hinted that the harshness of the sentence was to make an example of Ulbricht: members of the public considering following in his footsteps should know “that if you break the law this way, there will be very serious consequences.”
The SEC announced in a filing its decision denying Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s NYSE Arca exchange ability to list and trade the SolidX Bitcoin Trust, an exchange-traded product (ETP) that would trade like a stock and track the digital asset’s price.

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