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see virtual currencyvirtual currency,
a means of payment that is electronically created and stored, more specifically an unregulated electronic medium of exchange that operates like a currency but is created and controlled by computer software; also called digital currency.
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A peer-to-peer digital currency and electronic payment system introduced by an anonymous person with the alias Satoshi Nakamoto in January 2009. Although many merchants on both the Web and dark Web accept bitcoins as payment, many people buy and hold for investment, and its value has skyrocketed since inception. Naysayers claim Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, but proponents predict one coin will be worth $500,000 in the future. Bitcoin has also spawned hundreds of other digital currencies (for a complete list, visit See dark Web.

Bitcoin Spelling
The Bitcoin system and related components are spelled with a capital "B;" however, the coins are spelled with a lower case "b" (bitcoins).

A Distributed Accounting System
There is no central Bitcoin repository. It is a "decentralized virtual currency" that is not controlled by any government. Also known as a "cryptocurrency," transactions are encrypted to keep the identities of the parties anonymous. However, the transaction itself is visible because it is published in a constantly expanding public ledger known as the "blockchain," which is duplicated in thousands of Bitcoin nodes (computers) throughout the Internet. Anyone is able to see the transfer of bitcoins starting with the first ever transaction, but the from: and to: parties are anonymous. See cryptocurrency, public key cryptography and blockchain.

Built-in Trust
Due to its blockchain architecture, Bitcoin transactions cannot be altered or reversed, and this results in a system that is trustworthy. As a result, hundreds of cryptocurrencies as well as other kinds of blockchain-based transactions are emerging worldwide. They are especially popular in countries that have little faith in their government. See Ethereum.

Anyone Can Buy, Transfer and Sell Bitcoins
Users access their bitcoins from a digital wallet they manage in their computer, mobile device or through an online service. The wallet is used to pay for merchandise or transfer bitcoins to another party. Once a wallet is established, coins are bought with and sold for dollars, Euros and other national currencies at an online exchange or physical ATM, both of which take a commission (see Bitcoin wallet, Bitcoin exchange and Bitcoin ATM).

Public Key Cryptography
Bitcoin is known as a cryptocurrency because it uses public key cryptography, which is an encryption method that comprises a pair of keys, one public and one private. A Bitcoin transaction uses the private key of the sending account to authorize the release of the bitcoins and the public key of the receiving account. See public key cryptography.

Extremely Volatile
The value of a bitcoin fluctuates on various cryptocurrency exchanges like a share of stock with huge volatility. For example, on January 1, 2013, one bitcoin was worth USD $13. By the end of 2015, it was $422 but closed at $19,497 on December 16, 2017. By the end of 2018, a down year for most cryptocurrencies, bitcoins had dropped more than 80%.

Bitcoin Split
In 2017, Bitcoin split into three versions, and the original Bitcoin was enhanced for performance (see Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and SegWit).

Bitcoins Are Mined!
The strangest thing about bitcoins is the way they come into existence. Bitcoin "miners" compete with each other to update the blockchain with new transactions, and they are rewarded with bitcoins that are created "out of the blue" for their own account. For details, see Bitcoin mining.

Traction - Then Hacking
In late 2010, Bitcoin was becoming popular in the open source and underground communities. By mid-2011, there was an attack on the Japan-based Mt. Gox exchange, and a hacker extracted 25,000 bitcoins worth nearly $500,000. In early 2014, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy, because it was revealed that the exchange concealed the loss of hundreds of thousands of bitcoins.

Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Nakamoto's true identity was never disclosed; however, articles attributed to him are written in flawless English. Australian computer scientist Craig Wright claimed to be him, but that was disputed. Although he denies it, cryptography pioneer Nick Szabo, who designed a decentralized digital currency in the late 1990s, has been hailed as Nakamoto (NS initials possibly reversed??). To commemorate the developer, fractions of bitcoins are called "Satoshis." One Satoshi is equal to 0.00000001 Bitcoin.

Government Printing vs. Bitcoin Generation
When people argue that bitcoins are no less valid than the U.S. dollar, there is a distinction. Bitcoins have nothing to back them up but the faith of the people using them. Although the same might be said of U.S. currency, the United States has the IRS and other federal agencies to ensure that people pay taxes. Nevertheless, proponents claim that Bitcoin and other blockchain-based platforms are going to revolutionize all kinds of transactions worldwide.

In 2013, Germany recognized Bitcoin as a financial instrument, and the U.S. Department of Justice said Bitcoin was a valid means of exchange even though members of Congress had previously tried to invalidate them. Senior officials in both the Bank of Canada and Bank of England have proposed the possibility of a blockchain-based digital currency for their respective countries. For more information, visit,, and See BIP, Bitcoin transaction, Bitcoin mining, blockchain, Ethereum, Silk Road, Web payment service and digital wallet.
References in periodicals archive ?
He also says BTC, as a market leader of converged telecommunication products providing retail and wholesale products and services to mobile operators, ISPs, regional service providers and international service providers, the company works closely with institutions of higher learning to identify the skills needs of the industry.
Entercom EVP/General Counsel and BTC board member Andrew Sutor said, "Our commitment to this consortium of radio industry leaders has become the strategic proposition we anticipated.
Because tax information reporting is lacking, taxpayers bear a tedious recordkeeping burden, especially since BTC account balances are typically recorded to eight decimal places, as illustrated in the chart "Bitcoin Transaction Ledger.
BTC is order of magnitudes more volatile than the other market indices.
261 shares held in BTC, whereas AJTC is offering 230 fils in cash for each BTC share.
They've put together the company's statistics from the last few months, extensively negotiated with three international banks in order to finally define what can be offered: instant bank transfer for purchases amounting 15 BTC or more within one sole transaction.
Among the programs offered at BTC is Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences, which includes instruction in the classroom, as well as at the Whatcom Creek Hatchery at the Maritime Heritage Park in Bellingham.
BTC Flap's marketing team has gone creative enough to attach a special gift to each and every transaction amounting more than 10 BTC: they are offering a 24-karat gold coin with the Bitcoin engraved on both sides.
The BTC has already begun to transport the Kazakh oil.
Cotabato City - A 15-page primer on the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) had been launched to answer questions about the BTC and elicit feedbacks in the drafting of the BBL, officials said yesterday.
During this afternoon of experimentation, I earned BTC 0.
In April 2013 price of BTC FOB Ceyhan oil at the world market was $104.