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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a software-based online payment system described by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and introduced as open-source software in 2009. Payments are recorded in a public ledger using its own unit of account, which is also called bitcoin. Payments work peer-to-peer without a central repository or single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to call bitcoin a decentralized virtual currency. Although its status as a currency is disputed, media reports often refer to Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency or digital currency. It is the first fully implemented decentralized cryptocurrency; most other cryptocurrencies are derived from it. Bitcoin is also the largest cryptocurrency in terms of total market value.

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