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Gox in 2011.99 This has led to the often-repeated meme"Not your keys, not your bitcoin".100.
Physical pockets store the credentials necessary to spend bitcoins offline.92 One notable example was a novelty coin using these credentials printed on the reverse side.101 Paper pockets are only paper printouts.
The very first wallet program, only named Bitcoin, and occasionally referred to as the Satoshi client, premiered in 2009 from Satoshi Nakamoto as open-source applications.10 In version 0.5 the client moved from the wxWidgets user interface toolkit to Qt, and the whole bundle was referred to as Bitcoin-Qt.103 Following the launch of version 0.9, the software bundle was renamed Bitcoin Core to distinguish itself in the underlying network.104105.
Bitcoin Core is, perhaps, the best known implementation or client. Alternative clients (forks of Bitcoin Core) exist, for example Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Unlimited,30 and Parity Bitcoin.106
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On 1 August 2017, a hard fork of bitcoin was created, known as Bitcoin Cash.107 Bitcoin Cash has a larger block size limitation and had an identical blockchain at the time of fork. On 24 October 2017 another tricky fork, Bitcoin Gold, was made. Bitcoin Gold changes the proof-of-work algorithm used in mining, as the developers believed that mining had become overly specialized.108.
There is no single administrator,7 the ledger is maintained by a network of equally privileged miners.3:ch. 1
The additions to the ledger are maintained throughout competition. Until a new block is inserted into the ledger, it is not known which miner will produce the cube.3:ch. 1
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The issuance of all bitcoins is decentralized. They are issued as a reward for the creation of a new block.87
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Anybody can create a new bitcoin speech (a bitcoin counterpart of a bank account) without needing any acceptance.3:ch. 1
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Anybody can send a transaction to the network without needing any consent, the network merely confirms the transaction is valid.110:32
Researchers have pointed out in a"trend towards centralization". Though bitcoin can be sent right to the bitcoin network, in practice intermediaries are frequently used.31:220222 Bitcoin miners join large mining pools to minimize the variance of the income.31:215, 219222111:3112 Because transactions on the network are confirmed by miners, decentralization of the network requires that no single miner or mining pool obtains 51 percent of the hashing power, that might allow them to double-spend coins, prevent certain transactions from being verified and prevent other miners from earning income.113 As of 2013update just six mining pools controlled 75 percent of overall bitcoin hashing electricity.113 In 2014 mining pool Ghash.io obtained 51 percent hashing electricity which raised significant controversies about the safety of the network.
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According to researchers, other parts of the ecosystem are also"controlled by a small set of entities", notably the maintenance of the official client software, online wallets and simplified payment verification (SPV) clients.113
Bitcoin is pseudonymous, meaning that funds are not tied to real-world entities but rather bitcoin addresses. Owners of bitcoin addresses are not explicitly identified, but all transactions on the blockchain are public. In addition, transactions can be linked to individuals and companies through"idioms of usage" (e.g., transactions that spend Check This Out coins from several inputs indicate the inputs may have a common owner) and corroborating public transaction data with known information on owners of certain addresses.115 Additionally, bitcoin exchanges, where bitcoins are exchanged for traditional currencies, could be required by law to collect personal information.116.
To heighten financial solitude, a new bitcoin address can be generated for each transaction.117 For instance, hierarchical deterministic wallets generate pseudorandom"rolling addresses" for each transaction from a single seed, while only requiring a single passphrase to be recalled to recover all of corresponding private keys.118 Researchers at Stanford and Concordia universities also have shown that bitcoin exchanges and other entities can prove assets, liabilities, and solvency without revealing their own addresses using zero-knowledge proofs.119"Bulletproofs," a version of Confidential Transactions suggested by Greg Maxwell, have been analyzed by Professor Dan Boneh of Stanford.120 Other solutions such Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST), pay-to-script-hash (P2SH) with MERKLE-BRANCH-VERIFY, and"Tail Call Execution Semantics", have also been proposed to encourage private smart contracts. .
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Wallets and similar software technically handle all bitcoins as equivalent, establishing the basic level of fungibility. Researchers have pointed out that the history of each bitcoin is registered and publicly available in the blockchain ledger, and that some users may refuse to accept bitcoins coming from controversial transactions, which would damage bitcoin's fungibility.121.
The cubes in the blockchain were originally confined to 32 megabytes in size. The block size limitation of one megabyte was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010. Eventually the block size limit of one megabyte created problems for transaction processing, such as increasing transaction fees and delayed processing of transactions.122