How was the initial Bitcoin created? What is the Genesis block? BTCMEX goes back to January 3, 2009, a day, when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first BTC.
Throwback Thursday by BTCMEX
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in January 2009. Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper in late 2008, soon after on January 3, 2009, at approximately 18:15 UTC, the first block, or the Genesis block, was mined.
The network running on Nakamoto’s computer mined block 0, bringing the Bitcoin blockchain to life, and changing the course of the financial history. Many believe that the code was running on a Windows-powered PC, as it’s written in C++ and was a Windows GUI application.
The first block rewards were 50 BTC, but the Genesis block is an unspendable sum that will forever contain those 50 coins. Satoshi’s idea was to create a self-sustaining system, so Bitcoin is designed to simulate commodities like gold that has a limited supply. That’s why the event of halving, reducing the block reward by half, was programmed to happen at every 210,000 blocks mined. The next Bitcoin halving is expected to occur in May 2020.
The content of the Bitcoin block input is what’s called a “coinbase parameter”, which in the Genesis block’s case is recognized as one of the most fascinating examples of hardcoded text stored inside the chain. The coinbase parameter for block 0 says:
“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
The message is one of the headlines of the British newspaper, The Times, published on January 3, 2009. It’s likely to be used by Satoshi in response to the 2008’s economic crisis, the subsequent bank bailouts, and the failing banking systems. Some consider the message to be a simple time stamp.
After the Genesis block creation, it took 6 days until block 1 was mined on January 9. The same day, Nakamoto published the Bitcoin Core version 0.1 software on bitcoin.org. The program made both mining and peer-to-peer coin transactions possible. Three days later, Satoshi sent the first transaction to the developer and the first Bitcoin adopter, Hal Finney, who decided to run the software and accepted 10 BTC from the creator. Finney started running the Bitcoin protocol on his computer the day after block 1 was mined, and tweeted about the software the next day, on January 10, 2009. “Running bitcoin”, - said his message.
Last year, in 2019, crypto enthusiasts celebrated the Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary. “Thanks, Satoshi. We owe you one”, - was a message, sponsored by one of the exchanges, that appeared on The Times front page that day. The message “Thanks, Satoshi” was included in the coinbase parameter of the Bitcoin block 554,509.
Genesis block creation has truly ignited the new financial era of decentralization and technological breakthroughs. Thank you, Satoshi!
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Please, note, that the article is a part of BTCMEX blog, the views and opinions expressed here are the contributing author’s only, and do not necessarily represent the views of the company.
Julia Bulakh for BTCMEX