Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system that uses the unit of the same name to record transactions. To ensure the functioning and protection of the system, cryptographic methods are used, but at the same time all information about transactions between system addresses is available in clear text. The minimum transmitted value (the smallest amount of splitting) - 10-8 bitcoin - was named "satoshi" - in honor of the creator Satoshi Nakamoto, although he himself used the word "cent" in such cases.

An electronic payment between two parties occurs without intermediaries and is irreversible - there is no mechanism for canceling a confirmed transaction (including cases when the payment was sent to an erroneous or non-existent address, or when the transaction was signed with a private key that became known to others). Nobody can block (arrest) funds, even temporarily, except for the owner of the private key (or the person to whom it became known). But the provided multisignature technology allows attracting a third party (arbiter) and implementing "reversible transactions". With the help of a special scripting language, it is possible to implement other variants of smart contracts, but it is not accessible from the graphical interface and is not Turing complete, unlike newer blockchain systems.

One of the main features of the system is complete decentralization: there is no central administrator or any equivalent. A necessary and sufficient element of this payment system is the basic client program (has an open source code). Client programs launched on many computers are connected to each other in a peer-to-peer network, each node of which is equal and self-sufficient. It is impossible for public or private management of the system, including changing the total amount of bitcoins. The volume and timing of the release of new bitcoins are known in advance, but they are distributed relatively randomly among those who use their equipment for calculations, the results of which are a mechanism for regulating and confirming the eligibility of transactions in the Bitcoin system.


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