Urban bitcoin

Bitcoin is a digital asset and a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public dispersed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.

The word bitcoin first occurred and was defined in the white paper that was published on 31 October 2008. It is a compound of the words bit and coin. The white paper proposes a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust.

In January 2009, the bitcoin network was created when Nakamoto mined the first block of the chain, known as the genesis block. In the early days, bitcoins were worth very little. In 2010, they were trading at around $0.30.

In 2013, the value of a bitcoin peaked at $1,163. In November 2014, bitcoin prices peaked at $770 before crashing to $305 in January 2015. As of February 2015, the price of one bitcoin was around $270.

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