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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.
Bitcoin gains more legitimacy among lawmakers and legacy financial companies. For example, Japan passed a law to accept bitcoin as a legal payment method,[115] and Russia has announced that it will legalize the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[116] And Norway’s largest online bank, Skandiabanken, integrates bitcoin accounts.[117]
^ a b Lee, Timothy (20 March 2013). “US regulator Bitcoin Exchanges Must Comply With Money Laundering Laws”. Arstechnica. Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. miners must also register if they trade in their earnings for dollars.
In September 2012, the Bitcoin Foundation was launched to “accelerate the global growth of bitcoin through standardization, protection, and promotion of the open source protocol”. The founders were Gavin Andresen, Jon Matonis, Patrick Murck, Charlie Shrem, and Peter Vessenes.[37]
“However, demand for cryptocurrencies is set to sky rocket in 2018 as more people get to know about them and use them, and as the interest of governments and businesses, and more regulation, demonstrate how the market is maturing and becoming ever-more mainstream.”
In November 2016, the Swiss Railway operator SBB (CFF) upgraded all their automated ticket machines so that bitcoin could be bought from them using the scanner on the ticket machine to scan the bitcoin address on a phone app.[112]
He said: ”Banks blocking customers from purchasing crypto in this phase of a hype cycle is an interesting development. On one side it shows that cryptocurrencies have without a doubt spread onto a mainstream consumer’s radar and on the other side it proves just how delicate a balance this adoption is.”
The People’s Bank of China’s frequently updated restrictions against Bitcoin finally pressure some Chinese banks to issue a deadline against several bitcoin exchanges, requiring them to close their accounts by April 15. Although some are spared the warnings, the uncertain regulatory environment holds some prominent loopholes that virtually all Chinese exchanges quickly adopt. Using offshore banks, novel cryptographic voucher systems and other solutions, these trading platforms continue to operate, but at greatly reduced volumes from their hayday in 2013.
^ Tasca, Paolo; Liu, Shaowen; Hayes, Adam (1 July 2016), The Evolution of the Bitcoin Economy: Extracting and Analyzing the Network of Payment Relationships, p. 36, SSRN 2808762 , By November, 2013, the amount of inflows attributable to ”sin” entities had shrunk significantly to just 3% or less of total transactions.
The popular gaming platform Steam began accepting Bitcoin as payment for video games and other online media. Valve, the company that owns Steam, enlisted Bitpay as the payment processor to facilitate Bitcoin payments and help target international customers where credit card payments weren’t as ubiquitous.
European markets opened sharply lower before paring its losses. Germany’s DAX index was off around 1% after opening down nearly 3%. France’s CAC 40 was in positive territory by 0.4% after an earlier decline of 1.5% and Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.3%.
Bitcoin also has an uncertain future. While the digital currency has become more and more popular, it remains unclear if it will hit critical mass and be widely accepted. As it stands now, most businesses do not accept bitcoins as payment. If the network were ever to be disbanded, the value of bitcoins could potentially be lost.

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