Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention on 31 October 2008 to a cryptography mailing list in a research paper called "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System". Nakamoto implemented bitcoin
as open source code and released in January
2009. The identity of Nakamoto remains
unknown, though many have claimed to know it.
In January 2009, the bitcoin network came into existence with the release of the first open source bitcoin client and the issuance of the first bitcoins, with Satoshi Nakamoto mining the
first block of bitcoins ever (known as the genesis block), which had a reward of 50 bitcoins.
One of the first supporters, adopters, contributor to bitcoin and receiver of the first bitcoin transaction was programmer Hal
Finney. Finney downloaded the bitcoin software the day it was
released, and received 10 bitcoins from Nakamoto in the world's first bitcoin transaction. Other early supporters were Wei
Dai, creator of bitcoin predecessor b-money, and Nick Szabo, creator of bitcoin predecessor bit gold.
In the early days, Nakamoto is estimated to have mined 1 million bitcoins. Before disappearing from any involvement in bitcoin, Nakamoto in a sense handed over the reins to
developer Gavin Andresen, who then became the bitcoin lead
developer at the Bitcoin Foundation, the 'anarchic' bitcoin community's closest thing to an official public face.
The value of the first bitcoin transactions were negotiated by individuals on the bitcointalk forums with one notable transaction of 10,000 BTC used to
indirectly purchase two pizzas delivered by Papa John’s.
On 6 August 2010, a major vulnerability in the bitcoin protocol was spotted. Transactions weren't properly verified before they were included in the blockchain, which let
users bypass bitcoin's economic restrictions and create an indefinite number of bitcoins. On 15 August, the vulnerability was exploited; over 184 billion bitcoins were generated in a transaction, and sent to two addresses on the network. Within hours, the transaction
was spotted and erased from the transaction log after the bug was fixed and the network forked to an updated version of the bitcoin protocol
A transaction is a transfer of value
between Bitcoin wallets that gets included in the block chain. Bitcoin wallets keep a secret piece of data called a private key or seed, which is
used to sign transactions, providing a mathematical proof that they have come from the owner of the wallet.
New bitcoins are generated by a competitive and decentralized process called "mining". This process involves that
individuals are rewarded by the network for their services. Bitcoin miners are processing transactions and securing the network using specialized hardware and are
collecting new bitcoins in exchange