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Gox in 2011.99 This has resulted in the often-repeated meme"Not your keys, not your bitcoin".100.
Physical wallets store the credentials necessary to spend bitcoins offline.92 One notable example was a novelty coin with all these credentials printed on the opposite side.101 Paper wallets are only paper printouts.
Another kind of wallet referred to as a hardware pocket retains credentials offline when facilitating transactions.102
The first wallet program, only named Bitcoin, and occasionally known as the Satoshi client, was released in 2009 from Satoshi Nakamoto as open-source software.10 In version 0.5 the client moved from the wxWidgets user interface toolkit to Qt, and the entire bundle was referred to as Bitcoin-Qt.103 After the launch of version 0.9, the software bundle was renamed Bitcoin Core to distinguish itself in the underlying network.104105.
Bitcoin Core isalso, perhaps, the best known implementation or client. Alternative clients (forks of Bitcoin Core) exist, such as Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Unlimited,30 and Parity Bitcoin.106
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On 1 August 2017, a hard fork of bitcoin was made, known as Bitcoin Cash.107 Bitcoin Cash has a larger block size limit and had an identical blockchain in the time of fork. On 24 October 2017 another hard fork, Bitcoin Gold, was created. Bitcoin Gold changes the proof-of-work algorithm used in mining, since the developers felt that mining was now too specialized.108.
There's no single administrator,7 the ledger is maintained by a network of both privileged miners.3:ch. 1
The additions to the ledger are maintained through competition. Until a new block is inserted into the ledger, it's not known which miner will produce the block.3:ch. 1
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The issuance of all bitcoins is decentralized. They're issued as a reward for the creation of a new cube.87
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Anybody can create a new bitcoin speech (a bitcoin counterpart of a bank account) without needing any approval.3:ch. 1
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Anybody can send a transaction to the network without needing any consent, the network only confirms the transaction is legitimate.110:32
Scientists have pointed out in a"trend towards centralization". Though bitcoin can be sent directly into the bitcoin network, in practice intermediaries are widely used.31:220222 Bitcoin miners join large mining pools to minimize the variance of their 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% of the hashing power, which would 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% of overall bitcoin hashing power.113 In 2014 mining pool Ghash.io obtained 51% hashing power 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 use" (e.g., transactions that spend coins from multiple inputs indicate the inputs might have a common owner) and corroborating public transaction information with known information on owners of certain addresses.115 Additionally, bitcoin site web exchanges, where bitcoins are exchanged for traditional currencies, could be required by law to collect personal information.116.
To heighten financial privacy, 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 remembered to recover all corresponding private keys.118 Researchers at Stanford and Concordia universities also have shown that bitcoin exchanges and other entities can establish assets, liabilities, and solvency without revealing their addresses using zero-knowledge proofs.119"Bulletproofs," a version of Confidential Transactions proposed 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 support personal smart contracts. .
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Wallets and similar applications technically handle all bitcoins as equivalent, establishing the basic amount of fungibility. Researchers have pointed out that the background of each bitcoin is registered and publicly available in the blockchain ledger, and that some consumers may refuse to take bitcoins coming from controversial transactions, which might 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 limitation of one megabyte created problems for transaction processing, like increasing transaction fees and delayed processing of transactions.122