Bitcoin[note 5] is a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto,[note 6] who published the invention in 2008 and released it as open-source software in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer; users can transact directly without needing an intermediary.:4 Transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the block chain. The ledger uses its own unit of account, also called bitcoin.[note 7] The system works without a central repository or single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to categorize it as a decentralized virtual currency. Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency, although prior systems existed.[note 8] Bitcoin is more correctly described as the first decentralized digital currency. It is the largest of its kind in terms of total market value. Bitcoins are created as a reward for payment processing work in which users offer their computing power to verify and record payments into the public ledger. This activity is calledBitcoin has come a long way in just a few months. In September 2013 one Bitcoin cost about $120. In December, the value shot up to $1,147 per BTC. Lately, one coin has been trading for around $900. The Bitcoin market is clearly volatile and one major force pulling it up and down is its level of acceptability. In November the price skyrocketed as more and more vendors began accepting Bitcoin and interest from China boosted demand. But things soured in December as China cracked down on trading, barring banks and payment institutions from dealing in the virtual currency. When this happened, the price of one BTC took a 50% plunge.
Governments have taken note of Bitcoin s increasing popularity and many are proceeding with caution.
Several countries and their central banks have officially warned people about the risks associated with Bitcoin trading.
Some, like China, have gone a step further, introducing laws to control it. These are the countries that are most uneasy about Bitcoin. China –I m a privacy pragmatist, writing about the intersection of law, technology, social media and our personal information. If you have story ideas or tips, e-mail me at [email protected] PGP key here. These days, I m a senior online editor at Forbes. I was previously an editor at Above the Law, a legal blog, relying on the legal knowledge gained from two years working for corporate law firm Covington & Burling -- a Cliff s Notes version of law school. In the past, I ve been found slaving away as an intern in midtown Manhattan at The Week Magazine, in Hong Kong at the International Herald Tribune, and in D.C. at the Washington Examiner. I also spent a few years traveling the world managing educational programs for international journalists for the National Press Foundation. I have few illusions about privacy -- feel free to follow me on Twitter: kashhill, subscribe to me on Facebook, Circle me on Google+, or use Google Maps to figure out where the Forbes San Francisco bureau is, andThe Bitcoin Ladder ranks the top 20 in the Bitcoin world for a number of categories, always using objective, measurable and public data as a yardstick. Ranks Bitcoin-accepting websites by the amount of traffic they receive. (Last updated April 5, 2015) R Site Alexa Global Ranking 1 Reddit 24 2 Wordpress 32 3 Microsoft 41 4 xHamster 66 5 Twitch 161 6 Internet Archive 207 7 Badoo 278 8 Fiverr 325 9 Dell 332 10 Newegg 334 11 Expedia 411 12 Uploaded.net 417 13 OKCupid 422 14 Mega.co.nz 512 15 Shopify 574 16 Overstock 600 17 4chan 725 18 Porn.com 905 19 Rakuten.com 1,060 20 Namecheap 1,190 Ranks top Bitcoin-centered businesses by sales and profit. (Last updated Jan. 2013) There are hundreds of Bitcoin companies, you can see a much longer list here in the Trade page. R Company Sales/mth $ Profit/yr BTC Profit/yr Industry link 1 MtGox $ 14M $ 3.2M 200k Exchange - 2 Silk Road $ 2M $ 2.4 160k Marketplace - 3 BIPS $ 222k $ 0 $ 0 Payments - 4 BitPay $ 325k $ 1M 62k Payments - 5 BitInstant $ 1M $— Top nav — News – Companies – – Exchanges – – Merchants – – Wallets – – Investors – – Funding – Technology – – Mining – – Bitcoin Protocol – – Bitcoin ATMs – – Altcoins – – Cryptocurrency 2.0 – Regulation – Events – BitLicense – Prices – Crime – – Silk Road – Features – – Opinion – – Data Analysis – – Reviews Price & Data – Bitcoin Price Index – Bitcoin Venture Capital – Bitcoin Network Statistics – Bitcoin Calculator – About the BPI – Bitcoin ATM Map – CoinDesk API – Bitcoin Price Ticker Widget Guides – What is Bitcoin? – Why Use Bitcoin? – How Can I Buy Bitcoins? – How to Buy Bitcoin in the UK – How to Store Your Bitcoins – What Can You Buy with Bitcoin? – How to Sell Bitcoin – How to Accept Bitcoin Payments – How do Bitcoin Transactions Work? – Is Bitcoin Legal? – Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? – How Bitcoin Mining Works – How to Set Up a Bitcoin Miner – What are Bitcoin Mining Pools? – How Does Cloud Mining Work? – Calculate Mining Profitability – How to Make a Paper Bitcoin WalletThe legal status of bitcoin varies substantially from country to country and is still undefined or changing in many of them. While some countries have explicitly allowed its use and trade, others have banned or severely restricted it. Likewise, various government agencies, departments, and courts have classified bitcoins differently. While this article provides the legal status of bitcoin, regulations and bans that apply to this cryptocurrency likely extend to similar systems as well.
Steven Strauss, a Harvard public policy professor, suggested that governments could outlaw bitcoin in April 2013, and this possibility was mentioned again in a July 2013 regulatory filing made by a bitcoin investment vehicle. However, the vast majority of nations have not done so as of 2014[ Steven Strauss, a Harvard public policy professor, suggested that governments could outlaw bitcoin in April 2013, and this possibility was mentioned again in a July 2013 regulatory filing made by a bitcoin investmentThis is a map of every Bitcoin download (that was able to be traced to a country), by operating system. Each dot is an individual Bitcoin download. The yellow dots are a general reference of all Bitcoin downloads ever while the red ones call out a specific OS used in the download. Bitcoin downloads by country, by operating system.
At least, when the specific country was known. Of course there is plenty of geographically anonymous downloading (here s the nitty gritty on that). What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a digital currency that lives as an open source peer-to-peer system.
All cash systems are symbolic representations of value. Historically they were representative of actually-valuable stuff held in reserve, but increasingly it works without a net as fully fiat, whereby it has no intrinsic value but represents the say-so of the institution that regulates it. Bitcoin takes that a step further, as a cryptocurrency, which is not representative of reserved valuable stuff, and not regulatedCanada is the second most popular destination for capital investment in bitcoin companies, a Montreal think-tank.