Bitcoin Price History Graph

Picture of Bitcoin Price History Graph

Further information: Bitcoin Number of bitcoin transactions per month (logarithmic scale) Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to control its creation and management, rather than relying on central authorities.[1] The presumed pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto integrated many existing ideas from the cypherpunk community when creating bitcoin.

Over the course of bitcoin's history, it has undergone rapid growth to become a significant currency both on and offline - from the mid 2010s onward, some businesses on a global scale began accepting bitcoins in addition to standard currencies.[2] Pre-history Prior to the release of bitcoin there were a number of digital cash technologies starting with the issuer based ecash protocols of David Chaum[3] and Stefan Brands.

Adam Back developed hashcash, a proof-of-work scheme for spam control. The first proposals for distributed digital scarcity based cryptocurrencies were Wei Dai's b-money[4] and Nick Szabo's bit gold.[5][6]Hal Finney developed reusable proof of work (RPOW) using hashcash as its proof of work algorithm.[7] In the bit gold proposal which proposed a collectible market based mechanism for inflation control, Nick Szabo also investigated some additional enabling aspects including a Byzantine fault-tolerant asset registry to store and transfer the chained proof-of-work solutions.

[6] There has been much speculation as to the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto with suspects including Wei Dai, Hal Finney and accompanying denials.[8][9] The possibility that Satoshi Nakamoto was a computer collective in the European financial sector has also been discussed.[10] Creation On 18 August 2008, the domain name was registered.[11] Later that year on 31 October, a link to a paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System[12] was posted to a cryptography mailing list.

[11] This paper detailed methods of using a peer-to-peer network to generate what was described as "a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust".[13][14][15] 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,[13][16][17][18] with Satoshi Nakamoto mining the first block of bitcoins ever (known as the genesis block), which had a reward of 50 bitcoins.

Embedded in the coinbase of this block was the text: The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.[19] 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.

[20][21] Other early supporters were Wei Dai, creator of bitcoin predecessor b-money, and Nick Szabo, creator of bitcoin predecessor bit gold.[13] In the early days, Nakamoto is estimated to have mined 1 million bitcoins.[22] 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.

[23] The value of the first bitcoin transactions were negotiated by individuals on the bitcoin forum with one notable transaction of 10,000 BTC used to indirectly purchase two pizzas delivered by Papa John's.[13] On 6 August 2010, a major vulnerability in the bitcoin protocol was spotted. Transactions weren't properly verified before they were included in the transaction log or blockchain, which let users bypass bitcoin's economic restrictions and create an indefinite number of bitcoins.

[24][25] 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.[26][27] This was the only major security flaw found and exploited in bitcoin's history.

[24][25] Growth 2011 Based on bitcoin's open source code, other cryptocurrencies started to emerge.[28] The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit group, started accepting bitcoins in January 2011,[29] then stopped accepting them in June 2011, citing concerns about a lack of legal precedent about new currency systems.[30] The EFF's decision was reversed on 17 May 2013 when they resumed accepting bitcoin.

[31] In June 2011 Wikileaks[32] and other organizations began to accept bitcoins for donations. On 22 March 2011 WeUseCoins published the first viral video [33] which has had over 6.4 million views. In September 2011 Vitalik Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine. On 23 December 2011, Douglas Feigelson of BitBills filed a patent application for "Creating And Using Digital Currency" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, an action which was contested based on prior art in June 2013.

[34][35] 2012 In January 2012, bitcoin was featured as the main subject within a fictionalized trial on the CBS legal drama The Good Wife in the third-season episode "Bitcoin for Dummies". The host of CNBC's Mad Money, Jim Cramer, played himself in a courtroom scene where he testifies that he doesn't consider bitcoin a true currency, saying "There's no central bank to regulate it; it's digital and functions completely peer to peer".

[36] In September 2012, the Bitcoin Foundation was launched to "accelerate the global growth of bitcoin through standardization, protection, and promotion of the open source protocol". The founders were Gavin Andresen, Jon Matonis, Patrick Murck, Charlie Shrem, and Peter Vessenes.[37] In October 2012, BitPay reported having over 1,000 merchants accepting bitcoin under its payment processing service.

[38] In November 2012, WordPress had started accepting bitcoins.[39] 2013 In February 2013 the bitcoin-based payment processor Coinbase reported selling US$1 million worth of bitcoins in a single month at over $22 per bitcoin.[40] The Internet Archive announced that it was ready to accept donations as bitcoins and that it intends to give employees the option to receive portions of their salaries in bitcoin currency.

[41] In March the bitcoin transaction log called the blockchain temporarily split into two independent chains with differing rules on how transactions were accepted. For six hours two bitcoin networks operated at the same time, each with its own version of the transaction history. The core developers called for a temporary halt to transactions, sparking a sharp sell-off.[42] Normal operation was restored when the majority of the network downgraded to version 0.

7 of the bitcoin software.[42] The Mt. Gox exchange briefly halted bitcoin deposits and the exchange rate briefly dipped by 23% to $37 as the event occurred[43][44] before recovering to previous level of approximately $48 in the following hours.[45] In the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) established regulatory guidelines for "decentralized virtual currencies" such as bitcoin, classifying American "bitcoin miners" who sell their generated bitcoins as Money Service Businesses (or MSBs), that may be subject to registration and other legal obligations.

[46][47][48] In April, payment processors BitInstant and Mt. Gox experienced processing delays due to insufficient capacity[49] resulting in the bitcoin exchange rate dropping from $266 to $76 before returning to $160 within six hours.[50] Bitcoin gained greater recognition when services such as OkCupid and Foodler began accepting it for payment.[51] On 15 May 2013, the US authorities seized accounts associated with Mt.

Gox after discovering that it had not registered as a money transmitter with FinCEN in the US.[52][53] On 17 May 2013, it was reported that BitInstant processed approximately 30 percent of the money going into and out of bitcoin, and in April alone facilitated 30,000 transactions,[54] On 23 June 2013, it was reported that the US Drug Enforcement Administration listed 11.02 bitcoins as a seized asset in a United States Department of Justice seizure notice pursuant to 21 U.

S.C. § 881.[55] It is the first time a government agency has claimed to have seized bitcoin.[56][57] In July 2013 a project began in Kenya linking bitcoin with M-Pesa, a popular mobile payments system, in an experiment designed to spur innovative payments in Africa.[58] During the same month the Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department in Thailand stated that bitcoin lacks any legal framework and would therefore be illegal, which effectively banned trading on bitcoin exchanges in the country.

[59][60] According to Vitalik Buterin, a writer for Bitcoin Magazine, "bitcoin's fate in Thailand may give the electronic currency more credibility in some circles", but he was concerned it didn't bode well for bitcoin in China.[61] On 6 August 2013, Federal Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas of the Fifth Circuit ruled that bitcoins are "a currency or a form of money" (specifically securities as defined by Federal Securities Laws), and as such were subject to the court's jurisdiction,[62][63] and Germany's Finance Ministry subsumed bitcoins under the term "unit of account"—a financial instrument—though not as e-money or a functional currency, a classification nonetheless having legal and tax implications.

[64] In October 2013, the FBI seized roughly 26,000 BTC from website Silk Road during the arrest of alleged owner Ross William Ulbricht.[65][66][67] Two companies, Robocoin and Bitcoiniacs launched the world's first bitcoin ATM on 29 October 2013 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, allowing clients to sell or purchase bitcoin currency at a downtown coffee shop.[68][69][70] Chinese internet giant Baidu had allowed clients of website security services to pay with bitcoins.

[71] In November 2013, the University of Nicosia announced that it would be accepting bitcoin as payment for tuition fees, with the university's chief financial officer calling it the "gold of tomorrow".[72] During November 2013, the China-based bitcoin exchange BTC China overtook the Japan-based Mt. Gox and the Europe-based Bitstamp to become the largest bitcoin trading exchange by trade volume.[73] In December 2013, Overstock.

com[74] announced plans to accept bitcoin in the second half of 2014. On 5 December 2013, the People's Bank of China prohibited Chinese financial institutions from using bitcoins.[75] After the announcement, the value of bitcoins dropped,[76] and Baidu no longer accepted bitcoins for certain services.[77] Buying real-world goods with any virtual currency has been illegal in China since at least 2009.

[78] 2014 In January 2014, Zynga[79] announced it was testing bitcoin for purchasing in-game assets in seven of its games. That same month, The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino properties in downtown Las Vegas announced they would also begin accepting bitcoin, according to an article by USA Today. The article also stated the currency would be accepted in five locations, including the front desk and certain restaurants.

[80] The network rate exceeded 10 petahash/sec.[81]TigerDirect[82] and[83] started accepting bitcoin. In early February 2014, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox,[84] suspended withdrawals citing technical issues.[85] By the end of the month, Mt. Gox had filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan amid reports that 744,000 bitcoins had been stolen.[86] Months before the filing, the popularity of Mt.

Gox had waned as users experienced difficulties withdrawing funds.[87] In June 2014 the network exceeded 100 petahash/sec.[88] On 18 June 2014, it was announced that bitcoin payment service provider BitPay would become the new sponsor of St. Petersburg Bowl under a two-year deal, renamed the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Bitcoin was to be accepted for ticket and concession sales at the game as part of the sponsorship, and the sponsorship itself was also paid for using bitcoin.

[89] In July 2014 Newegg and Dell[90] started accepting bitcoin. In September 2014 TeraExchange, LLC, received approval from the U.S.Commodity Futures Trading Commission "CFTC" to begin listing an over-the-counter swap product based on the price of a bitcoin. The CFTC swap product approval marks the first time a U.S. regulatory agency approved a bitcoin financial product.[91] In December 2014 Microsoft began to accept bitcoin to buy Xbox games and Windows software.

[92] In 2014, several lighthearted songs celebrating bitcoin such as the Ode to Satoshi[93] have been released.[94] A documentary film, The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, was released in 2014, featuring interviews with bitcoin users, such as a computer programmer and a drug dealer.[95] 2015 In January 2015 Coinbase raised 75 million USD as part of a Series C funding round, smashing the previous record for a bitcoin company.

[96] Less than one year after the collapse of Mt. Gox, United Kingdom-based exchange Bitstamp announced that their exchange would be taken offline while they investigate a hack which resulted in about 19,000 bitcoins (equivalent to roughly US$5 million at that time) being stolen from their hot wallet.[97] The exchange remained offline for several days amid speculation that customers had lost their funds.

Bitstamp resumed trading on 9 January after increasing security measures and assuring customers that their account balances would not be impacted.[98] In March 2015 21 Inc announced it had raised 116 million USD in venture funding, the largest amount for any digital currency-related companies.[99] As of August 2015 it was estimated that 160,000 merchants accept bitcoin payments.[100]Barclays announced that they would become the first UK high street bank to start accepting bitcoin, with a plan to facilitate users to make charitable donations using the cryptocurrency outside their systems.

[101] They partnered in April 2016 with mobile payment startup Circle Internet Financial.[102] In October 2015, a proposal was submitted to the Unicode Consortium to add a codepoint for the bitcoin symbol.[103] 2016 In January 2016, the network rate exceeded 1 exahash/sec.[104] In March 2016, the Cabinet of Japan recognized virtual currencies like bitcoin as having a function similar to real money.

[105]Bidorbuy, the largest South African online marketplace, launched bitcoin payments for both buyers and sellers.[106] In April 2016, Steam started accepting bitcoin as payment for video games and other online media.[107] In July 2016, researchers published a paper showing that by November 2013 bitcoin commerce was no longer driven by "sin" activities but instead by legitimate enterprises.[108] Uber switched to bitcoin in Argentina after the government blocked credit card companies from dealing with Uber.

[109] In August 2016, a major bitcoin exchange, Bitfinex, was hacked and nearly 120,000 BTC (around $60m) was stolen.[110] In September 2016, the number of bitcoin ATMs had doubled over the last 18 months and reached 771 ATMs worldwide.[111] In November 2016, the Swiss Railway operator SBB (CFF) upgraded all their automated ticket machines so that bitcoin could be bought from them using the scanner on the ticket machine to scan the bitcoin address on a phone app.

[112] Bitcoin generates more academic interest year after year; the number of Google Scholar articles published mentioning bitcoin grew from 83 in 2009, to 424 in 2012, and 3580 in 2016. Also, the academic Ledger (journal) published its first issue. It is edited by Peter Rizun. 2017 The number of businesses accepting bitcoin continues to increase. In January 2017, NHK reported the number of online stores accepting bitcoin in Japan had increased 4.

6 times over the past year.[113] BitPay CEO Stephen Pair declared the company's transaction rate grew 3× from January 2016 to February 2017, and explained usage of bitcoin is growing in B2B supply chain payments.[114] Bitcoin gains more legitimacy among lawmakers and legacy financial companies. For example, Japan passed a law to accept bitcoin as a legal payment method,[115] and Russia has announced that it will legalize the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

[116] And Norway’s largest online bank, Skandiabanken, integrates bitcoin accounts.[117] In March 2017, the number of GitHub projects related to bitcoin passed 10,000.[118] Exchange trading volumes continue to increase. For the 6-month period ending March 2017, Mexican exchange Bitso saw trading volume increase 1500%.[119] Between January and May 2017 Poloniex saw an increase of more than 600% active traders online and regularly processed 640% more transactions.

[120] In June 2017, the bitcoin symbol was encoded in Unicode version 10.0 at position U+20BF (₿) in the Currency Symbols block.[121] On 1 August 2017 bitcoin split into two derivative digital currencies, the classic bitcoin (BTC) and the Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The split has been called the Bitcoin Cash hard fork.[122] On 6 December 2017 the software marketplace Steam announced that it would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for its products, citing slow transactions speeds, price volatility, and high fees for transactions.

[123][124] Prices and value history The price of a bitcoin reached US$1,139.9 on 4 January 2017. (semi logarithmic plot) Among the factors which may have contributed to this rise were the European sovereign-debt crisis—particularly the 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis—statements by FinCEN improving the currency's legal standing and rising media and Internet interest.[125][126][127][128] Until 2013, almost all market with bitcoins were in United States dollars (US $).

[129][130][131] As the market valuation of the total stock of bitcoins approached US$1 billion, some commentators called bitcoin prices a bubble.[132][133][134] In early April 2013, the price per bitcoin dropped from $266 to around $50 and then rose to around $100. Over two weeks starting late June 2013 the price dropped steadily to $70. The price began to recover, peaking once again on 1 October at $140.

On 2 October, The Silk Road was seized by the FBI. This seizure caused a flash crash to $110. The price quickly rebounded, returning to $200 several weeks later.[135] The latest run went from $200 on 3 November to $900 on 18 November.[136] Bitcoin passed US$1,000 on 28 November 2013 at Mt. Gox. Prices fell to around $400 in April 2014, before rallying in the middle of the year. They then declined to not much more than $200 in early 2015.

[137] Bitcoin value history (comparison to US$) Date USD : 1 BTC Notes Jan 2009 – Mar 2010 basically nothing No exchanges or market, users were mainly cryptography fans who were sending bitcoins for hobby purposes representing low or no value. In March 2010, user "SmokeTooMuch" auctioned 10,000 BTC for $50 (cumulatively), but no buyer was found.[138][139] Mar 2010 $0.003 On 17 Mar 2010, the now-defunct BitcoinMarket.

com exchange is the first one that starts operating. May 2010 less than $0.01 On 22 May 2010,[140] Laszlo Hanyecz made the first real-world transaction by buying two pizzas in Jacksonville, Florida for 10,000 BTC.[141][142][143] July 2010 $0.08 In five days, the price grew 900%, rising from $0.008 to $0.08 for 1 bitcoin. Feb 2011 – April 2011 $1.00 Bitcoin takes parity with US dollar.[144] 8 July 2011 $31.

00 top of first "bubble", followed by the first price drop Dec 2011 $2.00 minimum after few months Dec 2012 $13.00 slowly rising for a year 11 April 2013 $266 top of a price rally, during which the value was growing by 5-10% daily. May 2013 $130 basically stable, again slowly rising. June 2013 $100 in June slowly dropping to $70, but rising in July to $110 Nov 2013 $350–$1,242 from October $150–$200 in November, rising to $1,242 on 29 November 2013.

[145] Dec 2013 $600–$1,000 Price crashed to $600, rebounded to $1,000, crashed again to the $500 range. Stabilized to the ~ $650–$800 range. Jan 2014 $750–$1,000 Price spiked to $1000 briefly, then settled in the $800–$900 range for the rest of the month.[146] Feb 2014 $550–$750 Price fell following the shutdown of Mt. Gox before recovering to the $600–$700 range. Mar 2014 $450–$700 Price continued to fall due to a false report regarding bitcoin ban in China[147] and uncertainty over whether the Chinese government would seek to prohibit banks from working with digital currency exchanges.

[148] Apr 2014 $340–$530 The lowest price since the 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis had been reached at 3:25 AM on 11 April[149] May 2014 $440–$630 The downtrend first slow down and then reverse, increasing over 30% in the last days of May. Mar 2015 $200–$300 Price fell through to early 2015. Early Nov 2015 $395–$504 Large spike in value from $225–$250 at the start of October to the 2015 record high of $504.

May–June 2016 $450–$750 Large spike in value starting from $450 and reaching a maximum of $750. July–September 2016 $600–$630 Price stabilized in the low $600 range. October–November 2016 $600–$780 As the Chinese Renminbi depreciated against the US Dollar, bitcoin rose to the upper $700s. January 2017 $800–$1,150 5-12 January 2017 $750–$920 Price fell 30% in a week, reaching a multi-month low of $750.

2-3 March 2017 $1,290+ Price broke above the November 2013 high of $1,242[150] and then traded above $1,290.[151] April 2017 $1,210–$1,250 May 2017 $2,000 Price reached a new high, reaching US$1,402.03 on 1 May 2017,[152] and over US$1,800 on 11 May 2017.[153] On 20 May 2017, the price of one bitcoin passed US$2,000 for the first time. May–June 2017 $2,000–$3,200+ Price reached an all-time high of $3,000 on 12 June and is oscilating around $2,500 since then.

As of 6 August 2017, the price is $3,270. August 2017 $4,400 On 5 August 2017, the price of one BTC passed US$3,000 for the first time. On 12 August 2017, the price of one BTC passed US$4,000 for the first time. Two days later, the price of one BTC passed US$4,400 for the first time. September 2017 $5,000 On 1 September 2017, bitcoin broke US$5,000 for the first time, topping out at US$5,013.91.[154] 12 September 2017 $2,900 Price dipped harshly from China's bitcoin ICO and exchange crackdown (those following improper practices) 13 October 2017 $5,600 Price shot back up as the world moves on past the incident following China's crackdown 21 October 2017 $6,180 Price hit another all-time high as the impending forks draw closer 6 November 2017 $7,300 17-20 November 2017 $7,600-8,100 Briefly topped at USD $8004.

59/BTC at 01:14:11 UTC before retreating from highs. At 05:35 UTC on 20 November 2017 it stood at USD$7,988.23/BTC according to CoinDesk.[155] This surge in bitcoin may be related to developments in the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état. The market reaction in one bitcoin exchange is alarming as 1 BTC topped nearly US$13,500, just shy of 2 times the value of the International market.[156][157] 15 December 2017 17,900 Bitcoin price reached $17,900[158] 22 December 2017 13,800 Bitcoin price loses one third of its value in 24 hours, dropping below $14,000.

[159] Satoshi Nakamoto Main article: Satoshi Nakamoto "Satoshi Nakamoto" is presumed to be a pseudonym for the person or people who designed the original bitcoin protocol in 2008 and launched the network in 2009. Nakamoto was responsible for creating the majority of the official bitcoin software and was active in making modifications and posting technical information on the bitcoin forum.[13] Investigations into the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto were attempted by The New Yorker and Fast Company.

The New Yorker's investigation brought up at least two possible candidates: Michael Clear and Vili Lehdonvirta. Fast Company's investigation brought up circumstantial evidence linking an encryption patent application filed by Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry on 15 August 2008, and the domain name which was registered 72 hours later. The patent application (#20100042841) contained networking and encryption technologies similar to bitcoin's, and textual analysis revealed that the phrase ".

.. computationally impractical to reverse" appeared in both the patent application and bitcoin's whitepaper.[12] All three inventors explicitly denied being Satoshi Nakamoto.[160][161] In May 2013, Ted Nelson speculated that Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki is Satoshi Nakamoto.[162] Later in 2013 the Israeli researchers Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir pointed to Silk Road-linked Ross William Ulbricht as the possible person behind the cover.

The two researchers based their suspicion on an analysis of the network of bitcoin transactions.[163] These allegations were contested[164] and Ron and Shamir later retracted their claim.[165] Nakamoto's involvement with bitcoin does not appear to extend past mid-2010.[13] In April 2011, Nakamoto communicated with a bitcoin contributor, saying that he had "moved on to other things".[19] Stefan Thomas, a Swiss coder and active community member, graphed the time stamps for each of Nakamoto's 500-plus bitcoin forum posts; the resulting chart showed a steep decline to almost no posts between the hours of 5 a.

m. and 11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time. Because this pattern held true even on Saturdays and Sundays, it suggested that Nakamoto was asleep at this time, and the hours of 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. GMT are midnight to 6 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (North American Eastern Standard Time). Other clues suggested that Nakamoto was British: A newspaper headline he had encoded in the genesis block came from the UK-published newspaper The Times, and both his forum posts and his comments in the bitcoin source code used British English spellings, such as "optimise" and "colour".

[13] An Internet search by an anonymous blogger of texts similar in writing to the bitcoin whitepaper suggests Nick Szabo's "bit gold" articles as having a similar author.[8] Nick denied being Satoshi, and stated his official opinion on Satoshi and bitcoin in a May 2011 article.[166] In a March 2014 article in Newsweek, journalist Leah McGrath Goodman doxed Dorian S. Nakamoto of Temple City, California, saying that Satoshi Nakamoto is the man's birth name.

Her methods and conclusion drew widespread criticism.[167][168] In June 2016, the London Review of Books published a piece by Andrew O'Hagan about Nakamoto.[169]. The real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto still remains a matter of dispute. Forks See also: Bitcoin scalability problem and List of bitcoin forks A fork referring to a blockchain is what happens when a blockchain splits into two paths forward.

Forks on the bitcoin network regularly occur as part of the mining process. They happen when two miners find a block at a similar point in time. As a result, the network briefly forks. This fork is subsequently resolved by the software which automatically chooses the longest chain, thereby orphaning the extra blocks added to the shorter chain (that were dropped by the longer chain). A blockchain can also fork when developers change rules in the software used to determine which transactions are valid.

[170] March 2013 On 12 March 2013, a bitcoin miner running version 0.8.0 of the bitcoin software created a large block that was considered invalid in version 0.7 (due to an undiscovered inconsistency between the two versions). This created a split or "fork" in the blockchain since computers with the recent version of the software accepted the invalid block and continued to build on the diverging chain, whereas older versions of the software rejected it and continued extending the blockchain without the offending block.

This split resulted in two separate transaction logs being formed without clear consensus, which allowed for the same funds to be spent differently on each chain. In response, the Mt. Gox exchange temporarily halted bitcoin deposits.[171] The exchange rate fell 23% to $37 on the Mt. Gox exchange but rose most of the way back to its prior level of $48.[43][44] Miners resolved the split by downgrading to version 0.

7, putting them back on track with the canonical blockchain. User funds largely remained unaffected and were available when network consensus was restored.[172] The network reached consensus and continued to operate as normal a few hours after the split.[173] Regulatory issues On 18 March 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (or FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury, issued a report regarding centralized and decentralized "virtual currencies" and their legal status within "money services business" (MSB) and Bank Secrecy Act regulations.

[48][53] It classified digital currencies and other digital payment systems such as bitcoin as "virtual currencies" because they are not legal tender under any sovereign jurisdiction. FinCEN cleared American users of bitcoin of legal obligations[53] by saying, "A user of virtual currency is not an MSB under FinCEN's regulations and therefore is not subject to MSB registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations.

" However, it held that American entities who generate "virtual currency" such as bitcoins are money transmitters or MSBs if they sell their generated currency for national currency: "...a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter." This specifically extends to "miners" of the bitcoin currency who may have to register as MSBs and abide by the legal requirements of being a money transmitter if they sell their generated bitcoins for national currency and are within the United States.

[46] Since FinCEN issued this guidance, dozens of virtual currency exchangers and administrators have registered with FinCEN, and FinCEN is receiving an increasing number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) from these entities.[174] Additionally, FinCEN claimed regulation over American entities that manage bitcoins in a payment processor setting or as an exchanger: "In addition, a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency.

"[47][48] In summary, FinCEN's decision would require bitcoin exchanges where bitcoins are traded for traditional currencies to disclose large transactions and suspicious activity, comply with money laundering regulations, and collect information about their customers as traditional financial institutions are required to do.[53][175][176] Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation criticized FinCEN's report as an "overreach" and claimed that FinCEN "cannot rely on this guidance in any enforcement action".

[177] Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of FinCEN said, "Virtual currencies are subject to the same rules as other currencies. ... Basic money-services business rules apply here."[53] In its October 2012 study, Virtual currency schemes, the European Central Bank concluded that the growth of virtual currencies will continue, and, given the currencies' inherent price instability, lack of close regulation, and risk of illegal uses by anonymous users, the Bank warned that periodic examination of developments would be necessary to reassess risks.

[178] In 2013, the U.S. Treasury extended its anti-money laundering regulations to processors of bitcoin transactions.[179][180] In June 2013, Bitcoin Foundation board member Jon Matonis wrote in Forbes that he received a warning letter from the California Department of Financial Institutions accusing the foundation of unlicensed money transmission. Matonis denied that the foundation is engaged in money transmission and said he viewed the case as "an opportunity to educate state regulators.

"[181] In late July 2013, the industry group Committee for the Establishment of the Digital Asset Transfer Authority began to form to set best practices and standards, to work with regulators and policymakers to adapt existing currency requirements to digital currency technology and business models and develop risk management standards.[182] In 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed an administrative action against Erik T.

Voorhees, for violating Securities Act Section 5 for publicly offering unregistered interests in two bitcoin websites in exchange for bitcoins.[183] Theft and exchange shutdowns Bitcoins can be stored in a bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet. Theft of bitcoin has been documented on numerous occasions. At other times, bitcoin exchanges have shut down, taking their clients' bitcoins with them. A Wired study published April 2013 showed that 45 percent of bitcoin exchanges end up closing.

[184] On 19 June 2011, a security breach of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange caused the nominal price of a bitcoin to fraudulently drop to one cent on the Mt. Gox exchange, after a hacker used credentials from a Mt. Gox auditor's compromised computer illegally to transfer a large number of bitcoins to himself. They used the exchange's software to sell them all nominally, creating a massive "ask" order at any price.

Within minutes, the price reverted to its correct user-traded value.[185][186][187][188][189][190] Accounts with the equivalent of more than US$8,750,000 were affected.[187] In July 2011, the operator of Bitomat, the third-largest bitcoin exchange, announced that he had lost access to his wallet.dat file with about 17,000 bitcoins (roughly equivalent to US$220,000 at that time). He announced that he would sell the service for the missing amount, aiming to use funds from the sale to refund his customers.

[191] In August 2011, MyBitcoin, a now defunct bitcoin transaction processor, declared that it was hacked, which caused it to be shut down, paying 49% on customer deposits, leaving more than 78,000 bitcoins (equivalent to roughly US$800,000 at that time) unaccounted for.[192][193] In early August 2012, a lawsuit was filed in San Francisco court against Bitcoinica — a bitcoin trading venue — claiming about US$460,000 from the company.

Bitcoinica was hacked twice in 2012, which led to allegations that the venue neglected the safety of customers' money and cheated them out of withdrawal requests.[194][195] In late August 2012, an operation titled Bitcoin Savings and Trust was shut down by the owner, leaving around US$5.6 million in bitcoin-based debts; this led to allegations that the operation was a Ponzi scheme.[196][197][198][199] In September 2012, the U.

S. Securities and Exchange Commission had reportedly started an investigation on the case.[200] In September 2012, Bitfloor, a bitcoin exchange, also reported being hacked, with 24,000 bitcoins (worth about US$250,000) stolen. As a result, Bitfloor suspended operations.[201][202] The same month, Bitfloor resumed operations; its founder said that he reported the theft to FBI, and that he plans to repay the victims, though the time frame for repayment is unclear.

[203] On 3 April 2013, Instawallet, a web-based wallet provider, was hacked,[204] resulting in the theft of over 35,000 bitcoins[205] which were valued at US$129.90 per bitcoin at the time, or nearly $4.6 million in total. As a result, Instawallet suspended operations.[204] On 11 August 2013, the Bitcoin Foundation announced that a bug in a pseudorandom number generator within the Android operating system had been exploited to steal from wallets generated by Android apps; fixes were provided 13 August 2013.

[206] In October 2013,, an Australian-based bitcoin wallet provider was hacked with a loss of 4100 bitcoins, worth over A$1 million at time of theft. The service was run by the operator TradeFortress. Coinchat, the associated bitcoin chat room, has been taken over by a new admin.[207] On 26 October 2013, a Hong-Kong based bitcoin trading platform owned by Global Bond Limited (GBL) vanished with 30 million yuan (US$5 million) from 500 investors.

[208] Mt. Gox, the Japan-based exchange that in 2013 handled 70% of all worldwide bitcoin traffic, declared bankruptcy in February 2014, with bitcoins worth about $390 million missing, for unclear reasons. The CEO was eventually arrested and charged with embezzlement.[209] On 3 March 2014, Flexcoin announced it was closing its doors because of a hack attack that took place the day before.[210][211][212] In a statement that once occupied their homepage, they announced on 3 March 2014 that "As Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss [the hack], we are closing our doors immediately.

"[213] Users can no longer log into the site. Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Bter lost $2.1 million in BTC in February 2015.[214] The Slovenian exchange Bitstamp lost bitcoin worth $5.1 million to a hack in January 2015.[215] The US-based exchange Cryptsy declared bankruptcy in January 2016, ostensibly because of a 2014 hacking incident; the court-appointed receiver later alleged that Cryptsy's CEO had stolen $3.

3 million.[216] In May 2016, Gatecoin closed temporarily after a breach had caused a loss of about $2 million in cryptocurrency. It subsequently relaunched its exchange in August 2016 and is slowly reimbursing its customers.[217][218] In August 2016, hackers stole some $72 million in customer bitcoin from the Hong-Kong-based exchange Bitfinex.[219] In December 2017, hackers stole 4,700 bitcoins from NiceHash a platform that allowed users to sell hashing power.

[220][221] The value of the stolen bitcoins totaled about $80M. [222] On December 19, 2017, Yapian, a company that owns the Youbit cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, filed for bankruptcy following a hack, the second in eight months.[223] Taxation and regulation See also: Legality of bitcoin by country or territory In 2012, the Cryptocurrency Legal Advocacy Group (CLAG) stressed the importance for taxpayers to determine whether taxes are due on a bitcoin-related transaction based on whether one has experienced a "realization event": when a taxpayer has provided a service in exchange for bitcoins, a realization event has probably occurred and any gain or loss would likely be calculated using fair market values for the service provided.

"[224] In August 2013, the German Finance Ministry characterized bitcoin as a unit of account,[64][225] usable in multilateral clearing circles and subject to capital gains tax if held less than one year.[225] On 5 December 2013, the People's Bank of China announced in a press release regarding bitcoin regulation that whilst individuals in China are permitted to freely trade and exchange bitcoins as a commodity, it is prohibited for Chinese financial banks to operate using bitcoins or for bitcoins to be used as legal tender currency, and that entities dealing with bitcoins must track and report suspicious activity to prevent money laundering.

[226] The value of bitcoin dropped on various exchanges between 11 and 20 percent following the regulation announcement, before rebounding upward again.[227] Sports sponsorship On 18 June 2014, it was announced that bitcoin payment service provider BitPay would become the new sponsor of the St. Petersburg Bowl game under a two-year deal, renamed the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Bitcoin will be accepted for ticket and concession sales as part of the sponsorship, and the sponsorship itself was also paid for using bitcoin.

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""Pirateat40" Makes Off $5.6M USD in BitCoins From Pyramid Scheme". DailyTech. Archived from the original on 2014-04-11. ^ Mott, Nathaniel (31 August 2012). "Bitcoin: How a Virtual Currency Became Real with a $5.6M Fraud". PandoDaily. Archived from the original on 2013-10-27. ^ Foxton, Willard (2 September 2012) "Bitcoin 'Pirate' scandal: SEC steps in amid allegations that the whole thing was a Ponzi scheme".

The Daily Telegraph. London. 27 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-04-14.. The Telegraph ^ "Bitcoin theft causes Bitfloor exchange to go offline". BBC News. 25 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. ^ Goddard, Louis (5 September 2012). "Bitcoin exchange BitFloor suspends operations after $250,000 theft". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2014-02-11. ^ Chirgwin, Richard (25 September 2012).

"Bitcoin exchange back online after hack". PC World. Archived from the original on 2014-04-14. ^ a b Cutler, Kim-Mai (3 April 2013). "Another Bitcoin Wallet Service, Instawallet, Suffers Attack, Shuts Down Until Further Notice". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2014-03-31. Retrieved 12 April 2013. ^ "Transaction details for bitcoins stolen from Instawallet". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19.

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CryptoCoinsNews. 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2017-05-12. ^ "All Bitfinex clients to share 36% loss of assets following exchange hack". The Guardian. 7 August 2016. ^ "NiceHash". Retrieved 2017-12-07. ^ "NiceHash CEO Confirms Bitcoin Theft Worth $78 Million - CoinDesk". CoinDesk. 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2017-12-07. ^ Lee, Dave; Millions 'stolen' in NiceHash Bitcoin heist; BBC News; December 8, 2017; http://www. ^ "A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange files for bankruptcy after hack, says users will get 75% of assets for now". CNBC. December 19, 2017. ^ Stewart, David D.; Soong Johnston, Stephanie D. (29 October 2012). "2012 TNT 209-4 NEWS ANALYSIS: VIRTUAL CURRENCY: A NEW WORRY FOR TAX ADMINISTRATORS?. (Release Date: OCTOBER 17, 2012) (Doc 2012-21516)". Tax Notes Today. 2012 TNT 209-4 (2012 TNT 209–4).

^ a b Nestler, Franz (16 August 2013). "Deutschland erkennt Bitcoins als privates Geld an (Germany recognizes Bitcoin as private money)". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Archived from the original on 2013-10-22. ^ 2013-12-05, 中国人民银行等五部委发布《关于防范比特币风险的通知》, People's Bank of China Archived January 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. ^ 2013-12-06, China bans banks from bitcoin transactions, The Sydney Morning Herald Archived March 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.

^ "Bitcoin backer BitPay dumps St. Pete Bowl sponsorship". Retrieved 2 April 2015. External links Interactive bitcoin history Wolfram|Alpha bitcoin price tracking Bitcoin price and portfolio tracking v t e Bitcoin (₿) History Economics Legal status People Gavin Andresen Andreas Antonopoulos Adam Back Wences Casares Hal Finney Satoshi Nakamoto Charlie Shrem Amir Taaki Ross Ulbricht Roger Ver Winklevoss twins Erik Voorhees Marc Andreessen Mark Karpelès Vitalik Buterin Tim Draper Patrick Byrne Groups List of bitcoin companies List of bitcoin organizations List of people in blockchain technology Technologies Bitcoin network Blockchain Colored coins Cryptocurrency Cryptocurrency tumbler Bitcoin ATM ECDSA Initial coin offering Lightning Network P2P POW Segregated Witness SHA-2 CoinJoin Software clients Bitcoin Core Bitcoin Unlimited Bitcoin Classic Bitcoin XT Exchanges ANX Bitfinex Bitstamp BTC China BTC Markets CEX.

IO Coinbase (GDAX) Coinfloor Gatecoin Gemini Huobi Kraken LocalBitcoins QuadrigaCX Defunct Buttercoin Mt. Gox BitInstant BTC-e OKCoin Book Category Retrieved from ""

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The chart below display’s Bitcoin’s price throughout any given timeframe. The numbers on the graph represent historical events that seemingly affected Bitcoin’s price at that time. The list of events is detailed below. Click on a number on the chart and you will be transferred to the corresponding event. Bitcoin Video Crash Course  Know more than 99% of the population about Bitcoin.

One email a day for 7 days, short and educational, guaranteed. Bitcoin "splits" into Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) - August 1, 2017 After years of debating about how Bitcoin should scale the controversy turned into action. The Bitcoin code split in two different directions. One direction supporting the optimization of Bitcoin blocks through Segwit, while the other direction supports bigger blocks of up to 8mb.

The bigger block group called their currency Bitcoin Cash and effectively doubled the holdings of anyone who owned Bitcoin before August 1st. For example, if you have 10 Bitcoins before August 1st, you would now have 10 Bitcoins and 10 Bitcoin Cash.Sources: Japan Declares Bitcoin as Legel Tender - April 1, 2017 Japan recognizes bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

The country's legislature passed a law, following months of debate, that brought bitcoin exchanges under anti-money laundering/know-your-customer rules, while also categorizing bitcoin as a kind of prepaid payment instrument.Sources: SEC denies second Bitcoin ETF application - March 28, 2017 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday denied for the second time in a  month a request to bring to market a first-of-its-kind product tracking bitcoin, the digital currency.

The SEC announced in a filing its decision denying Intercontinental Exchange Inc's NYSE Arca exchange the ability to list and trade the SolidX Bitcoin Trust, an exchange-traded product (ETP) that would trade like a stock and track the digital asset's price.Sources: SEC denies Winkelvos ETF - March 10, 2017 the US government denied the application of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — the brothers who once claimed to be co-inventors of Facebook — to operate an exchange-traded fund (ETF) to make it easier for investors to buy Bitcoin.

Sources: Bitcoin price breaks $1000 for the first time in 3 years - January 3, 2017 After rallying for most of the second half of 2016 Bitcoin breaches the $1000 mark for the first time in 3 years.

Mass media coverage brings in an influx of new users that supposedly will raise the price even higher.Source: Donald Trump Elected as President, Market Plummet - November 9, 2016 In a shocking turn of events Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton and become the 45th president of the United States. The US market drops by over 1% and the Mexican Peso has plumbed record lows, and is now down 10% today at 20.

22 peso to the dollar.Japan's Nikkei 225 plunged 5.4% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 2.2%. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.6%.. Dow futures were down 2.1%, S&P 500 futures were 2.3% lower and Nasdaq futures lost 2.7% at around 6.30 a.m. ET.European markets opened sharply lower before paring its losses. Germany’s DAX index was off around 1% after opening down nearly 3%. France's CAC 40 was in positive territory by 0.

4% after an earlier decline of 1.5% and Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.3%.Investors rushed into perceived havens, such as gold, which is up $26.90 an ounce, or 2.1%, to $1,301.40.Bitcoin has seen a sharp increase in value during this night going up 5% in just 24 hours, however later throughout the day the price stabilized on a total increase of 2.5%.Sources: Bitfinex Hacked - August 2, 2016 Bitfinex, the largest Bitcoin exchange by volume, announced that 119,756 bitcoins of customer funds had been stolen via a security breach, a value roughly equivalent to $72 million USD. Bitfinex was holding the customer funds in multi-signature addresses in conjunction with its security partner BitGo.

It is presumed that the attacker obtained access to the private keys for nearly all Bitfinex customer accounts, as well as access to the BitGo API for the Bitfinex account.It remains unclear if the customer funds were insured by BitGo and if customers will be fully reimbursed.The price of Bitcoin plunged nearly 20% to $480 USD that day before beginning a gradual recovery.Others in the Bitcoin community suggested that prior knowledge of the upcoming hack was used by unknown entities for insider trading as the price had begun to drop significantly before Bitfinex's announcement.

Sources: Second Halving Day - July 9, 2016 The block reward was decreased for the second time in Bitcoin's history, resulting in a new reward of 12.5 bitcoins per mined block. The automatic 50% drop continued Bitcoin's original design to gradually decrease the number of newly created bitcoins until the block reward ends completely, which is estimated to occur in the year 2140.

The block reward halving occurs every 210,000 blocks and the next "Halving Day" is expected to occur in July 2020.Sources: Craig Wright Claims to be Bitcoin's Creator - May 2, 2016 Following a five month absence from the public eye, Craig Wright publicly announced he was Satoshi Nakamoto by means of a blog post. The blog post featured a disjointed demonstration of a private key signing, which seemed to be an attempt to verify Wright was in possession of Nakamoto's private Bitcoin keys.

This verification was later debunked by the Bitcoin community.Wright's claim was backed up by Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen in his own blog post earlier the same day. Andresen stated that he met with Wright in-person in London, and privately witnessed Wright sign an arbitrary message using one of Nakamoto's private Bitcoin keys.Andresen later stated that he may have been tricked by Wright.Sources:http://www. Steam Accepts Bitcoin - April 27, 2016 The popular gaming platform Steam began accepting Bitcoin as payment for video games and other online media.

Valve, the company that owns Steam, enlisted Bitpay as the payment processor to facilitate Bitcoin payments and help target international customers where credit card payments weren't as ubiquitous.Sources: OpenBazaar Launched - April 4, 2016 The initial production version of the first decentralized marketplace software, OpenBazaar, was released to the general public.

The goal of the project was to facilitate peer-to-peer trade without a middleman, fees, or restrictions on trade. The software allows users to create virtual stores where buyers can purchase goods using Bitcoin.The OpenBazaar project would later announce it received $1 million in funding from venture capital firms Union Square Ventures, Andreessen-Horowitz, and angel investor William Mougayar .Sources:https://blog. Bitcoin Roundtable Consensus - February 21, 2016 Influential members of the Bitcoin community met in Hong Kong to discuss a development plan and timeline for scaling Bitcoin. The closed-door meeting included over 30 miners, service providers, and Bitcoin Core developers and was meant to address solutions to the block size debate.

The meeting concluded with a public statement proposing the group's support for the new Segregated Witness functionality, and making a hard fork in the Bitcoin protocol available that would increase the block size limit between 2MB and 4MB by July 2016.Others in the Bitcoin community denounced the meeting as being inconsequential as the parties involved represented a small handful of Bitcoin companies and special interest groups.

Sources: Mike Hearn Quits Bitcoin (a.k.a The Hearnia) - January 14, 2016 In a public blog post, Mike Hearn declared that Bitcoin had failed and that he will "no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development".

Hearn was an ex-Google developer who had been heavily involved in the Bitcoin community and related projects since the early days of the cryptocurrency. His most popular project was bitcoinj, a Java implementation of the Bitcoin protocol.Hearn's post blamed Bitcoin's alleged failure on a number of reasons: censorship in the Bitcoin community, the centralization of mining to a handful of Chinese miners, and the unwillingness of Bitcoin Core developers to increase the limit on Bitcoin's block size.

Within 24 hours of the post being published, Bitcoin's price dropped over $50 USD.Others in the Bitcoin community accused Hearn of purposely attacking Bitcoin in order to promote his new employer, R3 CEV, a startup focused on using blockchain technology to improve the operations of the global banking industry.Sources: Gwern and WIRED Claim Craig Wright is Probably Satoshi Nakamoto - December 8, 2015 Security researcher and writer, Gwern Branwen, published an article in WIRED magazine claiming that an Australian man named Dr. Craig S. Wright was either Satoshi Nakamoto or a "brilliant hoaxer". Gwern cited a number of Wright's deleted blog posts, leaked emails, and transcripts that seemed to suggest Wright is Bitcoin's creator.

In one leaked transcript Wright himself claims "I did my best to try and hide the fact that I’ve been running bitcoin since 2009". Another document detailed that Wright had access to a Bitcoin trust worth 1.1 million bitcoins.However, none of the leaked documents Gwern claimed to possess were published.Wright did not provide WIRED with any confirmation that he was indeed Satoshi Nakamoto. Within hours of the article being published, Wright's existing online presence was mostly removed from the web.

Sources: Bitcoin Sign Accepted into Unicode - November 3, 2015 The Unicode committee accepted the Bitcoin currency symbol (uppercase B with 2 vertical bars going through it, but only visible at the top and bottom) to be in a future version of the Unicode standard.

The glyph will be given the slot "U+20BF BITCOIN SIGN" and eventually will render with standard system fonts.Sources: Bitcoin Featured on Front Page of The Economist - October 31, 2015 The Economist, a globally popular British publication focused on economic liberalism, made it's article "The Trust Machine" the featured cover story of it's weekly print edition.

The article focused mainly on the utility of blockchain technology, promoting the idea that banks and government institutions may implement their own blockchains to create "cheap, tamper-proof public databases".Sources: EU Declares No VAT on Bitcoin Trades - October 22, 2015 The European Court of Justice ruled that the exchange of Bitcoin and "virtual currencies" is not subject to value-added-tax (VAT) in the European Union.

The ruling acts to classify Bitcoin and related alt-coins as currency, instead of goods or property.This ruling is in contrast to the United States' classification of Bitcoin as both a currency (according to FINCEN) and commodity (according to CFTC/IRS).Sources: Gemini Exchange Launched - October 8, 2015 Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss released their own US based Bitcoin exchange dubbed "Gemini".

Upon launch, the exchange was licensed to operate in 26 states and was able to "service both individual and institutional customers" due to its LLTC corporate structure. Gemini was also able to offer FDIC insurance on customer deposits thanks to a partnership with a New York based bank.The exchange aims to be fully compliant with US law with a policy to first "ask for permission, not forgiveness".

Sources: Bitcoin declared as a commodity by the US regulator - September 18, 2015 The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC),  announced it had filed and settled charges against a Bitcoin exchange for facilitating the trading of option contracts on its platform. They state: "In this order, the CFTC for the first time finds that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are properly defined as commodities,".

Sources: Bitcoin XT Fork Released - August 15, 2015 Bitcoin Core developers Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen released a separate version of the Bitcoin client software, called Bitcoin XT. The release illustrates an ongoing controversy in the Bitcoin development community: what limit should be placed on the size of Bitcoin's blocks? Bitcoin XT implements BIP 101, which proposes "replacing the fixed one megabyte maximum block size with a maximum size that grows over time at a predictable rate".

The release of Bitcoin XT culminated fears that the Bitcoin community may not be able to reach a consensus on the issue, and the blockchain may hard fork, resulting in two separate versions of Bitcoin's global ledger.Sources:

software/ Mark Karpeles Arrested - August 1, 2015 Mark Karpeles, the CEO of the failed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, was arrested in Japan on charges of fraud and embezzlement in relation to collapse of the exchange. Karpeles faces allegations of illegally manipulating trade volume and the personal use of client deposits, of which may have led to the exchange's insolvency.

Mt. Gox is thought to have ultimately lost 744,400 Bitcoins of customer deposits.Sources: 2 Federal Agents Plead Guilty to Silk Road Theft - July 1, 2015 Former Federal agents Carl Force IV (DEA) and Shaun Bridges (Secret Service) pleaded guilty to stealing Bitcoins for their personal gain during their active investigation of the Silk Road marketplace.

Force was charged with "extorting Ulbricht, as well as wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering, and conflict of interest" in his role in siphoning off $50,000 worth of Bitcoin from the Silk Road into his own personal accounts. Bridges is charged with money laundering and obstruction of justice for stealing $820,000 worth of Bitcoin in a similar manner.Force agreed to pay $500,000 in restitution and was later sentenced to 6 years in prison in October 2015.

Bridges is awaiting sentencing in December 2015.Sources: New York State Releases the BitLicense - June 3, 2015 Superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, released a set of customized rules meant to regulate Bitcoin and digital currency businesses that serve customers located in New York state.

These regulations are the first ever directly targeted at digital currency businesses.According to the regulations, digital currency companies that serve NY customers must apply for a "BitLicense" within 45 days or be considered in "breach of the law". A BitLicense application costs $5,000 and the regulations include a number business requirements, such as fingerprinting employees for the FBI, obtaining written approval of all new business activities, and retained "earnings and profits of the company can only be invested in US dollars".

In response, New York based customers were banned and expunged by a number of Bitcoin companies, including Bitfinex, Kraken,, and ShapeShift.Sources: Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life in Prison - May 19, 2015 After a month-long jury trial that ended in Ulbricht's conviction, Judge Katherine Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison without parole.

Ulbricht had been found guilty on 7 charges of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics in February due to his role as the operator of the Silk Road marketplace (a.k.a "Dread Pirate Roberts"). In a letter to Judge Katherine Forrest prior to his sentencing, Ulbricht admitted to running the Silk Road and made a plea for leniency. The judge's sentencing statement hinted that the harshness of the sentence was to make an example of Ulbricht: members of the public considering following in his footsteps should know "that if you break the law this way, there will be very serious consequences.

"Ross Ulbricht would later appeal the ruling on June 5, 2015.Sources: Coinbase Launches US Licensed Exchange - January 26, 2015 The VC backed startup Coinbase Inc.

, a popular Bitcoin outlet and payment processor, announced the release of its own Bitcoin trading platform. The company founders stated they had worked for months to obtain various licenses from state financial regulators, allowing them to legally accept customers from 25 different US states.The new platform will operate like a traditional exchange: customers can deposit funds, place asks and bids on an order book, and will be charged a small percentage fee on executed trades.

The exchange platform is to remain separate from their Bitcoin outlet operation, which in contrast, allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoins directly from Coinbase.Sources: Bitstamp Hacked - January 4, 2015 Unknown hackers were able to steal 18,866 bitcoins from Bitstamp's operational hot wallet, worth roughly $5.

2 million dollars. The attackers used social engineering against Bitstamp system administrator Luka Kodric to gain access to 2 of Bitstamp's servers and subsequently the hot wallet's private keys. The wallet was completely drained of all bitcoins shortly thereafter.Upon discovery of the breach, Bitstamp immediately shutdown the exchange's operations for 8 days as it audited its systems and rebuilt its trading platform.

The theft represented "a small fraction of Bitstamp's total bitcoin reserves" as the majority of the company's Bitcoin funds remained untouched in offline "cold" storage. No customer account balances were affected. However, according to a leaked internal Bitstamp report on the incident, the damage to the company's reputation and customer confidence far exceeded its monetary Bitcoin loss.Sources:http://www. Charlie Shrem Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison - December 19, 2014 Labeled Bitcoin's "First Felon", Charlie Shrem, the CEO of bitcoin exchange BitInstant, was sentenced to 2 years in prison for his role in laundering money for users of the Silk Road, an online marketplace that catered to illicit goods and services.

Shrem had entered a plea bargain which involved surrendering $950,000 to the US government and pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.Sources: Microsoft Accepts Bitcoin - December 11, 2014 Microsoft revealed it will accept Bitcoin from US customers for "apps, games and other digital content" offered on the Windows and Xbox online stores.

The announcement was made via a post on the tech giant's blog and stated that Microsoft had partnered with Bitpay for Bitcoin payment processing.Sources: The Slaying of BearWhale - October 6, 2014 An unknown trader places nearly 30,000 BTC for sale on the Bitstamp exchange at a limit price of $300 per bitcoin, worth roughly $9 million USD.

The order was dubbed the "BearWhale" by the Bitcoin community due to its unprecedented size.Over the next 24 hours, the entire BearWhale order is fulfilled on the exchange via buy orders.Sources: Paypal Subsidiary Braintree to Accept Bitcoin - September 8, 2014 Braintree, a subsidiary of Paypal, announces that it is partnering with Coinbase to accept Bitcoin payments on their platform.

Over the next three months, the two companies will work on integrating Bitcoin payment processing for Braintree merchants. The Bitcoin payment option will be seamlessly enabled for all merchants on the platform. Braintree merchants need only sign up for a Coinbase account and link it to their Braintree account.The news adds to speculation that Paypal is becoming more favorable towards Bitcoin, and may eventually integrate it into their own payment processing system.

Sources: Dell Accepts Bitcoin - July 18, 2014 Founder Michael Dell announces on Twitter that now accepts Bitcoin. Customers in the United States (only) can purchase any product listed on Dell's online marketplace using Bitcoin.

All Bitcoin transactions are to be handled by Coinbase, a Bitcoin payment processor. At a yearly revenue of $56 billion, Dell becomes the largest company to accept Bitcoin.This announcement follows a number of other major online retailers' acceptance of Bitcoin payments in 2014 (Overstock on 2014-01-09 via processor Coinbase, Tiger Direct on 2014-01-23, and Newegg on 2014-07-01 via processor Bitpay).

Sources: New York DFS Releases Proposed “BitLicense” - July 17, 2014 Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, announces a proposed set of regulations for businesses that interact with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

The goal of the new regulations, according to Lawsky, are to help "protect consumers and root out illegal activity – without stifling beneficial innovation". The regulations would require entities that deal in Bitcoin to run background checks/fingerprints for all employees, get written approval for new business activities by the state, and to immediately convert any Bitcoin profit to US dollars.

Affected entities would be exchanges, mining pools, bulk Bitcoin sellers, and altcoin software creators based in New York state, or that have customers in New York state. News of these regulations are generally rebuked by the cryptocurrency community.Sources: US Marshals Service Auctions 29,656 Seized Bitcoins - June 27, 2014 Nearly 30,000 government seized Bitcoins, obtained by the US Marshals Service during the October 2013 bust of the Silk Road website, are auctioned off in chunks of 3,000 bitcoins.

Bidders are required to deposit $200,000 USD via bank wire in order to qualify for the auction. A single bidder (venture capitalist Tim Draper) won every auction, indicating that his winning bid prices were far higher than the current market price.Sources: Mining Pool GHash.

io Reaches 51% - June 13, 2014 Due to's popularity and partnership with to sell mining shares of their own mining hardware, the mining pool giant gains a sole majority of the Bitcoin network hashing power, and the ability to launch a successful 51% attack on the Bitcoin network. With a majority of the Bitcoin network hashing power, could temporarily reverse transactions that they send (double spending) and prevent other transactions from being confirmed. responds by stating they "have and never will participate in any 51% attack". The pool also issues a press statement declaring that it will attempt to limit its hashing power to 39.99% by "actively asking miners to take their hardware away from GHash.IO and mine on other pools", as well as form a committee to assist Bitcoin core developers in solving the 51% attack problem.Sources:http://blog. Chinese Exchanges' Bank Accounts Closed - April 10, 2014 The People's Bank of China's frequently updated restrictions against Bitcoin finally pressure some Chinese banks to issue a deadline against several bitcoin exchanges, requiring them to close their accounts by April 15.

Although some are spared the warnings, the uncertain regulatory environment holds some prominent loopholes that virtually all Chinese exchanges quickly adopt. Using offshore banks, novel cryptographic voucher systems and other solutions, these trading platforms continue to operate, but at greatly reduced volumes from their hayday in 2013.Sources: IRS Declares Bitcoin To Be Taxed As Property - March 26, 2014 The IRS policy document declares Bitcoin to be property, not currency, subject to capital gains tax – with that tax calculated against every change in buying power for a given amount of bitcoin, from the time it's acquired to the time it's spent.

The decision is widely derided as unwieldy and overly complex, requiring users of the currency to record Bitcoin's market price with every transaction, subject to an array of largely unfamiliar calculations. Others, however, remark that the net tax paid may often be less than if Bitcoin were treated as currency proper - but to a market that emerged in tax-free innocence, it is a difficult blow to soften.

Sources: Newsweek Claims Dorian Nakamoto is Bitcoin's Creator - March 6, 2014 In an article titled "The Face Behind Bitcoin", journalist Leah McGrath Goodman writes that an unemployed engineer in Temple City, California is in fact Bitcoin's creator. Based on speculations and interviews with Dorian's family, Goodman's article ultimately draws an enourmous amount of worldwide attention to Dorian Nakamoto, who denies any involvement in Bitcoin and asks for privacy from the media.

The Bitcoin community would later go on to raise about $23,000 for Dorian Nakamoto.Sources: Mt. Gox Closes - February 24, 2014 After putting an abrupt halt to withdrawals on February 6, claiming that a hacker had exploited their own poorly-implemented software through the use of transaction malleability attacks, disgraced bitcoin exchange Mt.

Gox's website and trading engine go blank without official comment. Other exchanges and Bitcoin businesses issue a joint statement condemning the mismanagement, deception, and eventual collapse wrought by the executives of the Japan-based exchange, after an alleged leaked internal document showed that over 744,000 BTC were lost by the company.Sources: Major Exchanges Hit With DDoS Attacks - February 7, 2014 Mt. Gox, Bitstamp, and BTC-e all experienced a stoppage of trading due to massive DDoS attacks that were apparently aimed at exploiting transaction maleability in the exchanges' software. Mt. Gox halted withdrawals first, on February 6, evidently contributing to a sharp drop in BTC price; the DDoS attack was detected on February 11, 2014.

Due to a host of problems at Mt. Gox, it may not be clear that the DDoS attack was primarily responsible for the problems they experienced on February 6th. [1]Sources: Chinese Government Bans Financial Institutions From Using Bitcoin - December 5, 2013 Putting its first restraints on Bitcoin's surging popularity, the People's Bank of China declares Satoshi Nakamoto's novel invention not to be a currency. The policy change prohibits any financial institution to trade, insure, or otherwise offer services related to Bitcoin.

Over the following weeks, further restrictions slowly strangle the Chinese cryptocurrency markets, as exchanges repeatedly try to find innovative, lasting ways to stay in operation, and prices around the globe sink dramatically.Sources: Exchange Rate Peaks at $1,242 on Mt.

Gox - November 29, 2013 Rapidly growing Bitcoin investment from China steadily drives prices higher and higher, reaching a peak on November 29th. Subject to strict controls concerning the movement of money across the country's borders, Chinese citizens embrace the freedom provided by Bitcoin with open arms, seeking an alternative to the state's inflating official currency, the Renminbi. The origin of mainstream Chinese interest in Bitcoin is largely credited to Jet Li's One Foundation, which publicized a Bitcoin address for donations in the wake of the April 20th, 2013 Lushan earthquake and received over 230 BTC in just two days, covered widely in the national media.

Sources: People’s Bank of China OK's Bitcoin - November 20, 2013 Speaking in Chinese at an economic forum, Mr. Yi says that “people are free to participate in the Bitcoin market,” and that he would “personally adopt a long-term perspective on the currency.

” News of his statements energize the already active Chinese bitcoin markets, with the largest, BTC China, seeing trade volumes more than twice those of the world's second-largest exchange, Mt. Gox.Sources: US Senate Holds Hearing On Bitcoin - November 18, 2013 Announced under the title "Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies," hope for the U.

S. Government panel's discussion is dim among the Bitcoin community leading up to the hearing. As the proceedings commence, however, many of the panelists and Senators agree that Bitcoin holds great promise. The general consensus is summed up by Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director of the U.S. Government's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), who testified, “We want to operate in a way that does not hinder innovation.

”Sources: Dread Pirate Roberts Arrested - October 1, 2013 Following a trail of clues left carelessly across the internet, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (in conjunction with other agencies) manages to identify the alleged operator of the dark web marketplace, which saw most of its sales in illicit drugs.

Ross Ulbricht, claimed by the FBI to be the site's founder, Dread Pirate Roberts, is arrested in a San Francisco Public Library and charged with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and engaging in a “continuing criminal enterprise.” About 30,000 BTC of the Silk Road's alleged bitcoin holdings are seized at the time, and an additional 144,000 BTC from DPR's private holdings are swept up three weeks later.

Sources: Tradehill Shuts Down (Again) - August 30, 2013 The business-to-business bitcoin exchange had been reliant on the relatively new Internet Archive Federal Credit Union to hold its clients' deposits in regulation-compliant, insured accounts.

When the IAFCU determines that it can not reasonably handle the myriad regulatory issues surrounding Bitcoin, Tradehill is forced to halt operations and return customers' funds.Sources: DHS Seizure Warrant Against Mt.

Gox - May 14, 2013 When Mt. Gox opened an American bank account with Wells Fargo, President and CEO Mark Karpelès answered “no” to the questions, “Do you deal in or exchange currency for your customer?” and “Does your business accept funds from customers and send the funds based on customers’ instructions (Money Transmitter)?” The U.S. Government thinks otherwise. With the warrant signed, Homeland Security Investigations seizes $2,915,507.

40 from an account owned by a Mt. Gox subsidiary that was used to process payments to and from U.S. customers, and the future of Bitcoin's legal status becomes ever more uncertain.Sources: Increased Trading Volume Breaks Mt.

Gox - April 10, 2013 Originally thought to be a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack on the largest bitcoin exchange, the great influx of traders on the heels of Cyprus's bailout announcement overwhelms Mt. Gox's servers, causing trades to stutter and fail. Speculative concerns about the exchange's hiccups feed a powerful panic-sell that saturates the market and drives prices down to pre-rally levels, before rising again a few days later.

Sources: Cyprus Bail-In - March 25, 2013 Orchestrated by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, the Eurogroup, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the €10 billion bailout is hoped to fortify the flagging Cypriot economy. Among its conditions, however, is a sizable levy collected from most bank accounts with holdings over the €100,000 cutoff - a serious concern not just for wealthy Cypriots but many internationals, as the nation's favorable policies had made it a popular global tax haven, particularly in Russia.

Seeking solutions to preserve their holdings before the bailout's conditions take effect, many of these account holders begin buying bitcoin en masse, driving a price rally through early April that brought the value of one bitcoin from about $80 to over $260.Sources: Bitcoin 0.8 Causes Brief Hard Fork - March 11, 2013 Shaking confidence in Bitcoin and the validity of some transactions, the price briefly plummets and the Mt.

Gox exchange temporarily suspends bitcoin deposits. Thanks to a swift and coordinated response by Bitcoin developers, miners, and community members, the fork is resolved within hours after the operators of two large mining pools, Michael Marsee (of BTC Guild) and Marek Palatinus (of slush's pool), honorably forgo some of their accumulated mining rewards in order to downgrade to the previous, compatible version.

An updated version, 0.8.1, is released shortly after, containing safeguards to prevent the original problem.Sources: Halving Day - November 28, 2012 In line with the original design for Bitcoin's maturation, the number of coins created to reward miners undergoes its first reduction, beginning the long and gradual process of tapering the amount of new currency entering the economy.

These “Halving Days” are scheduled to occur every four years, stepping down the number of new bitcoins generated until the reward reaches 0 in the year 2140, to yield a fixed money supply of 20,999,999.9769 BTC. This pre-programmed limit to inflation is a major driver of the currency's economic controversy, value appreciation and speculation.Sources:

html Wordpress Accepts Bitcoin - November 15, 2012 In a smart and savvy release, Wordpress explains the decision: “PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions... we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control.

Our goal is to enable people, not block them.” As one of the 25 most popular domains on the web, Wordpress's move paves the way for later retail ventures in Bitcoin.Sources: Bitcoins Savings & Trust Halts Payments - August 17, 2012 Promising consistent weekly “interest” returns of 7% to its creditors, Trendon T. Shavers (known on BitcoinTalk as Pirateat40) manages the secretive operation for about eight months, accepting only large deposits of bitcoin (50+ BTC) and paying out “interest” weekly.

On August 17, 2012, Pirateat40 announces a halt to the operation, and absconds with deposits estimated between 86,202 and 500,000 BTC. On July 23, 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission files charges against Shavers for defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme.Sources: Linode Hacked, Over 46,000 BTC Stolen - March 1, 2012 An unknown hacker breaches Linode's server network and immediately seeks out accounts related to bitcoin, quickly compromising the wallets of eight customers.

Bitcoinica, a large online bitcoin exchange, is hardest hit, losing more than 43,000 BTC, while other prominent victims include Bitcoin's lead developer Gavin Andresen as well as Marek Palatinus (also known as slush), the operator of a large mining pool. Both Bitcoinica and slush's pool bear the theft's losses on behalf of their customers.Sources: Paxum and Tradehill Drop Bitcoin - February 11, 2012 On February 11, 2012, Paxum, an online payment service and popular means for exchanging bitcoin announces it will cease all dealings related to the currency due to concerns of its legality. Two days later, regulatory issues surrounding money transmission compel the popular bitcoin exchange and services firm TradeHill to terminate its business and immediately begin selling its bitcoin assets to refund its customers and creditors.

The following day, Patrick Strateman, known on BitcoinTalk as phantomcircuit, benevolently discloses a devastating bug in how BTC-E, another online exchange, secures its clients' accounts and funds.Sources:

org/web/20120822072101/ "The Good Wife" Airs "Bitcoin for Dummies" TV Episode - December 19, 2011 After the initial announcement of this upcoming, Bitcoin-themed episode, investors bet big on the show to catapult prices to new highs. About 9.45 million viewers tune in to watch "Bitcoin for Dummies" on January 15, 2012; the story involves a government manhunt for the creator of Bitcoin, who is charged with creating a currency in competition with the U.

S. Dollar. Despite the massive exposure, prices remain stagnant following the show's airing.Sources: Mt. Gox Hacked - June 19, 2011 By gaining access to the credentials of an official auditor working for the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange, a hacker downloads a slightly out-of-date copy of the website's user database, including email addresses and insecurely hashed passwords.

Using their newfound administrator-level access to the site, they place countless offers to sell bitcoins that don't exist, falsely deflating prices until the going rate reaches just $0.01 per coin. Mt. Gox reverses the fraudulent transactions and halts trading for seven days to re-secure their systems, and two other large exchanges issue temporary halts while their own security is reviewed. Soon after, a copy of the database is leaked and is used to launch attacks against accounts held by users of the MyBitcoin online wallet service who share the same password on both sites, resulting in thefts of over 4,019 BTC from roughly 600 wallets.

Sources: Gawker Publishes Article About The Silk Road - June 1, 2011 Titled “The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable,” Adrian Chen's piece on Gawker is as provocative as it is popular. To many people reading it, the sudden realization that Bitcoin has a useful value – one that's entirely unique - hits home.

With a link to Mt. Gox in the text, the article starts an enormous upswing in price that beats all previous records, reaching over $31 per bitcoin just one week after publication.Sources: Three New Exchanges Open Supporting More Fiat Currencies - March 27, 2011 On March 27, 2011, Britcoin launches the first exchange to trade bitcoin and British Pound Sterling (GBP).

Just days later, on March 31, Bitcoin Brazil opens a service for face-to-face exchange in Brazilian Reals (BRL) and U.S. Dollars. On April 5, begins facilitating trades in Euros (EUR) and other currencies. Together, they simplify bitcoin ownership and trading for hundreds of millions of new users and the market is expanded enormously.Sources:

org/index.php?topic=5441.0 Bitcoin Price Hits $1.00 USD - February 9, 2011 Just two years old, Bitcoin achieves parity with the U.S. Dollar on the Mt. Gox exchange. The following day, some popular news outlets feature stories on the symbolic milestone, causing such a surge of interest in the growing currency that the official Bitcoin website is temporarily hobbled.Sources: Bitcoin Protocol Bug Causes Hard Fork - August 15, 2010 Using a peculiar quirk of the way computers process numbers, an unknown person creates a fraudulent transaction that generates 184,467,440,737.

08554078 bitcoins – nearly nine-thousand times as many as can legitimately exist in the entire system. The oddity is quickly spotted by Bitcoin developers and community members, and a fixed version of the Bitcoin software is released within hours. By the next day, the corrected blockchain overtakes the exploited one, and Bitcoin is back in normal operation – but not before the market is badly shaken.

Sources: Mt. Gox Opens For Business - July 18, 2010 Jed McCaleb, a programmer best known for creating the successful eDonkey peer-to-peer network in 2000, announces the launch of Mt. Gox, a new full-time bitcoin exchange. Based on a prior, abandoned project of McCaleb's to create an online exchange for Magic: The Gathering cards, he soon struggles to keep up with the demands of the business and sells mtgox.

com to Mark Karpelès on March 6, 2011. Mt. Gox would slowly grow to dominate the world of bitcoin trading over the next three years.Sources: Bitcoin Posted on Slashdot - July 11, 2010 The release of Bitcoin version 0.3 is featured on, a popular news and technology website. Reaching a large audience of technophiles, the article brings many newly-interested people on board, driving the exchange value of a single bitcoin up nearly tenfold, from approximately $0.

008 to $0.08 in just five days.Sources: Two Pizzas Are First Material Item Purchased Using Bitcoin - May 22, 2010 BitcoinTalk user laszlo (Laszlo Hanyecz) pays 10,000 BTC for two pizzas delivered to their house (valued at about $25), ordered and paid for by another user, jercos. This assigns the first concrete valuation to bitcoin - about $0.

0025 per coin.Sources: The First Bitcoin-to-Fiat Exchange Occurs - October 12, 2009 Using PayPal, NewLibertyStandard buys 5,050 BTC from Sirius for $5.02, equating to roughly one tenth of a cent per bitcoin.Sources: New Liberty Standard Publishes First Exchange Rate - October 5, 2009 New Liberty Standard opens a service to buy and sell bitcoin, with an initial exchange rate of 1,309.

03 BTC to one U.S. Dollar, or about eight hundredths of a cent per bitcoin. The rate is derived from the cost of electricity used by a computer to generate, or “mine” the currency.Sources: Genesis Block Established - January 3, 2009 The first Bitcoin transaction record, or genesis block, kicks off the Bitcoin blockchain and includes a reference to a pertinent newspaper headline of that day:The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.

The initial Bitcoin program and its source code are released by Satoshi Nakamoto six days later.Sources:[email protected]/msg10142.html

Hazel Gordon

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