What is Bitcoin: Definition and 19 Discussions

Bitcoin (₿) is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. The cryptocurrency was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The currency began use in 2009 when its implementation was released as open-source software.Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services, but the real-world value of the coins is extremely volatile. Research produced by the University of Cambridge estimated that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. Users choose to participate in the digital currency for a number of reasons: ideologies such as commitment to anarchism, decentralization and libertarianism, convenience, using the currency as an investment and pseudonymity of transactions. Increased use has led to a desire among governments for regulation in order to tax, facilitate legal use in trade and for other reasons (such as investigations for money laundering and price manipulation).
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, the large amount of electricity (and thus carbon footprint) used by mining, price volatility, and thefts from exchanges. Some economists and commentators have characterized it as a speculative bubble at various times. Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.The word bitcoin was defined in a white paper published on 31 October 2008. It is a compound of the words bit and coin. No uniform convention for bitcoin capitalization exists; some sources use Bitcoin, capitalized, to refer to the technology and network and bitcoin, lowercase, for the unit of account. The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Oxford English Dictionary advocate the use of lowercase bitcoin in all cases.

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  1. P

    Duties owed by Bitcoin developers to users

    One of the advantages of keeping your money in a bank account is that banks are under various duties to help you keep control of that money in the event that someone steals your bank card, and to compensate you if they culpably fail to do so. Is the same true of crypto assets kept on the...
  2. Stonestreecty

    Recovering Lost Bitcoins: FPGA vs GPU Performance Comparison

    Hello all, I have a question regarding FPGA performance vs GPU (I've reviewed it before). I’m trying to recover lost bitcoins that I mined in the early days. I knew it was important to keep the private key but in the end I somehow managed to lose my private key but I still have 24 out of 32...
  3. B

    Python Forecasting Bitcoin (BTC) with Machine Learning

    Hi everyone, I apologize to the mod if I posted in the wrong section. For my exam of Machine Learning, I would like to implement a part of the work presented in this paper. In this work, the authors used two ML methods in cascade for forecasting Bitcoin. Starting from the initial data, they...
  4. F

    Bitcoin: how it really works....

    Hello everyone, I am determined to clearly understand bitcoin. This is what I know so along with my dilemmas: Bitcoins are a virtual currency with encryption. The exchange of bitcoins is decentralized in the sense that there is/are no institutions like banks that validate the exchange of...
  5. B

    I Is this statistically significant?

    X-axis = past 1-week percent change of the search term "best bitcoin wallet" Y-axis = future 1-week percent change of the price of bitcoin From the data, if the number of searches increases by more than 150%, it seems the price of bitcoin almost always increases, however, there are only 10...
  6. FallenApple

    Can Bitcoin be a store of value?

    Can it be treated like a rare commodity that is of high value? Gold isn't legal tender either but it's rarity and demand keeps the market value reasonably high. Are there any fundamental reasons why bitcoin wouldn't turn out to be like a precious metal? I'm talking long term. Right now, I...
  7. wolram

    Bitcoin harming the atmosphere

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181029130951.htm What do you think the advancement of technology is doing to the Earth?
  8. BWV

    News The Economic Limits of Bitcoin and the Blockchain

    Interesting economic paper on the limits of bitcoin: The amount of computational power devoted to anonymous, decentralized blockchains such as Bitcoin’s must simultaneously satisfy two conditions in equilibrium: (1) a zero-profit condition among miners, who engage in a rent-seeking competition...
  9. P

    What's going to happen to Bitcoins made through fraud?

    I'm wondering what is happening to all these bitcoins drug cartels made along with hackers? Do they just convert their bitcoins to gold or some other valuable commodity and then to cash and then launder via traditional methods? Any ideas?
  10. S

    How liquid are bitcoins and other crypto-currencies?

    How liquid are bitcoins and other crypto-currencies ? (i.e. How easy is it exchange them for normal currencies or for goods and services?) For example, in the USA, a person with foreign coins (of the physical variety) can't go into a typical bank and exchange them for US currency. Is getting...
  11. 3301

    Support Bitcoin: Invest, Spend & Earn

    How many of you support that alternate currency? Do you have some bitcoins and if yes do you spend it? Personally i have few coins and I am waiting to get on right price. It is investing for me.
  12. T

    Exploring the Physics of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

    Hi all! I'm a new member and I hope I did everything right (in terms of formatting), given the "special" circumstance. Since this isn't a textbook problem or anything, but instead is about a project of mine, I won't be using the provided format...
  13. nsaspook

    News BITCOIN, Heists, Thefts, Hacks, Scams, and Losses

    BITCOIN, “Heists, Thefts, Hacks, Scams, and Losses.” http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/25/282384924/bitcoin-exchange-mt-gox-goes-dark-after-theft-report At least with Zimbabwe 100 trillion dollar bills you had something to clean yourself with...
  14. A

    Did you know the Bitcoin protocol has a negative impact on the environment?

    A nice article for laymen: http://www.michaelnielsen.org/ddi/how-the-bitcoin-protocol-actually-works/ Original paper: http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf One thing you will notice from reading the article is how terrible this protocol is for the environment!
  15. F

    Bitcoin Encryption and Quantum Computers (D-Wave)

    Hi, Not sure if this is the right place to post this but... I understand that D-Wave has a developed an adiabetic quantum computer. Google and Lockheed Martin have both purchased these computers from D-Wave recently. Could such a quantum computer (or perhaps future versions of it with...
  16. I

    News What's the hype about Bitcoin?

    t pretty rare that a brand new idea comes along and makes it big fast. It's exciting! Edit by moderator - You've already posted in the current thread. https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=685768&page=4
  17. Jim Kata

    Are Alternate Currencies Like Bitcoin Viable Without Government Backing?

    I recently heard about bitcoin, but don't know that much about it. I read the Wikipedia article, but it wasn't particularly enlightening. What are the prospects of an alternate currency, like bitcoin, being viable. My guess is probably not much since it lacks the coercive power of a...
  18. B

    Free Market Currency 'Bitcoin'

    It is not clear to me why anyone would buy bitcoin. Is it a scam? Find out what is a bitcoin: http://bitcoinme.com/