Today is bitcoin day!
Saturday, January 3, 2009, is the birthday of bitcoin. With the creation of the first Bitcoin block – known as the ‘Genesis Block’ – the first set of 50 BTC came into existence.
Like the first block ever created, the genesis block is the beginning of the entrenched database blockchain and represents the first example of peer-to-peer digital currency protected by sound cryptographic principles. But unlike other blocks, it has a few distinct features, adding a layer of hidden meaning that may not be visible at first.
The Genesis of Bitcoin
This genesis block is the start of blockchain – and the beginning of the revolution in cryptocurrency.
In the Bitcoin genesis, each crypto-asset “block” contains pre-indexed data and determines its value/relevance to its predecessor. It was originally called ‘block 1’, but is now commonly referred to as ‘block 0’ by modern clients — this number refers to its block height, i.e., its distance from the first block in the blockchain. Basically, it is the first block of the new blockchain, to which all other subsequent blocks are attached.
Each crypto-asset “block” contains pre-indexed data and determines its value/relevance to its predecessor. The genesis block, therefore, refers to the first block (Block 0 or Block 1) of the new blockchain, to which all other subsequent blocks are attached.
Interestingly, there was a 6-day delay between the creation of the first block and the second block — rather than the 10-minute delay we see today. This has led some to think that Satoshi was imitating the creation account from the Book of Genesis — when the Judeo-Christian God created the world and everything in it in 7 days, the 7th day being a day of rest. And what makes the genesis block shrouded in mystery is the secret message Satoshi left in the block:
“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”
The text is a reference to The Times headline dated January 3, 2009. Alistair Darling, then Chancellor of the UK Exchequer at the time, was considering a second bank bail. Although Satoshi has never commented on a confidential message, many people have interpreted it as a mockery of the savings bank and the government’s inability to recover the economy after the 2008 financial crisis.
The secret message not only confirmed the birth of Bitcoin but also Satoshi’s vision – of a decentralized currency without any middleman or central authority. Bitcoin will lead us to a completely new economy.
There are several interesting facts about the genesis block.
- Its hash contains 2 more zeros than is required for such an earlier block.
- Generally, the block production time is 10 minutes. But the subsequent block took six days to mine
- The first 50 Bitcoins mined cannot be spent due to a special production method.
- The first transaction in the amount of 10 Bitcoins took place on the network on 01/12/2009. Sender – Satoshi Nakamoto. The recipient is a programmer and is one of the first BTC users, Hal Finney.