18. FAQ — Bitcoin , How Are Bitcoins Created? , B ITCOIN P ROJECT , en/faq#how-are-bitcoins-created (last visited May 7, 2014). 19. Total Bitcoins in Circulation , B LOCKCHAIN , - bitcoins (last visited May 7, 2014). 20. FAQ — Bitcoin, How Does One Acquire Bitcoins?, BITCOIN PROJECT,
2. The Ecosystem The ecosystem supporting Bitcoin has been growing exponential- ly. Notably, there are three main categories of systems: (1) the Bitcoin mining community; (2) Bitcoin exchanges; and (3) merchants who accept bitcoins as payment for goods and services. In addition, there are numerous innovative ventures based on Bitcoin, from Bitcoin au- tomated teller machines (“ATMs”) to Bitcoin-based investment in- struments. a. Bitcoin Mining As mentioned above, Bitcoin mining is a process wherein users provide computing power to process Bitcoin transactions. Because the Bitcoin algorithm releases new bitcoins in declining numbers, it be- comes more difficult to mine for bitcoins as time progresses. 24 As a result, there is an entire industry dedicated to mining bitcoins, where users build high-powered computers for the sole purpose of mining. 25 There are also numerous Bitcoin mining contractors whose primary business is to rent out computing power to mine for bitcoins. 26 21. FAQ — Bitcoin , Is Bitcoin Secure? , B ITCOIN P ROJECT , - bitcoin-secure (last visited May 7, 2013). 22. Use Bitcoins in the Real World , U SE B ITCOINS . INFO , bitcoin-in-the-real-world#!/catid=12;2;21;3;22;10;13;17;20;15;16;9;4;11;6;18;1;14;25;24; 23;19 (last visited May 7, 2014); Ashley Boncimino, Where You Can Shop with Bitcoin in Chicago , C HICAGO B USINESS (June 13, 2013), 20130613/NEWS08/130619907/#; see also, e.g. , Kashmir Hill, Living on Bitcoin for a Week: The Journey Begins , F ORBES (May 1, 2013), kashmirhill/2013/05/01/living-on-bitcoin-for-a-week-the-journey-begins. 23. B ITCOIN C HARTS , - 01zeg2013-12-31ztgSzm1g10zm2g25zv (last visited May 7, 2014). 24. FAQ — Bitcoin , How Are Bitcoins Created? , supra note 18.
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