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The fundament of the week: What is a genesis block?

In 2009, more precisely on January 3, an unknown developer (or group of developers) named Satoshi Nakamoto began writing history by releasing the so-called Genesis block on the Sourceforge server.

The so-called Genesis, the original block containing the first 50 BTCs. This block, unlike any of the 502,000+ blocks that followed, was carrying a message written by Nakamoto: "The Times 03 / Jan / 2009, Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks".

This line is the exact copy of the London Times article title written on 3rd January 2009, which in detail describes the banks bailed by the British government. While Nakamoto never clarified the true meaning of this message, many interpreted it as a reference to why Nakamoto developed Bitcoin - to erase banks and intermediaries that he considered corrupt and unreliable and subsequently creating a currency that is oriented at its users, the people.

The origin of the Genesis block, like Nakamoto himself, is shrouded in mystery. However, several questions come to mind. For example, why the BTCs in the original block remain inexhaustible, why the next block lasted 6 days, and why users still transfer BTCs to the Genesis block.

The Hash of Genesis block (000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f) is unique because it contains two more leading hex zeros than other starting blocks require.

Bitcoin Genesis block

The 50 BTC reward from the genesis block was sent to 1A1zP1eP5QGefo2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNA address and as of January 3, 2019, this address contains a total of 66,912 BTCs and received a total of 1486 transactions. The block fee of 50 BTC will remain inexhaustible forever and also the users who have sent their BTC to this address will never be able to recover them back.

Although the average time between BTC blocks is 10 minutes, the timestamp of the block following the Genesis block is a full 6 days. One of the interpretations states that Satoshi worked on BTC for some time and the article headline from The Times challenged him to publish his project. He then extracted the Genesis block so that the timestamp matched the title.

It is also possible that, given the low hash value of the block, Satoshi could spend 6 days mining it with the same timestamp and then proceeded to block 1. The hypothesis suggests that this block was resolved on January 3, but using this block the software was tested by Satoshi Nakamoto, not until January 9. At that moment, all test blocks were deleted and the Genesis block was reused for the main network.


Jakub is a crypto trader and founder of Trader 2.0 project, which helps hundreds of traders from central Europe to understand cryptocurrency trading and its challenges. Jakub not o...


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