At press time, the market cap of the entire crypto-verse is $807.63 billion. This billion-dollar [formerly trillion-dollar] industry began with only one cryptocurrency, Bitcoin [BTC]. The asset set the stage for countless other cryptocurrencies to follow suit over time. However, Bitcoin has been the pinnacle of the digital asset revolution. But where did it all start?
The ‘Genesis Block’ opened doors to the very first set of Bitcoins. Satoshi Nakamoto formulated the genesis block exactly 14 years ago on January 3, 2009. On this day, the first batch of 50 BTC was mined into existence.
What is the hype around Bitcoin’s Genesis Block?
Apart from the fact that it was the origin of Bitcoin, a message from the creator of BTC, Satoshi Nakamoto is what makes this block stand out. Over 90 percent of BTC has already been mined and the blocks that followed suit came with no message. After mining the first set of Bitcoins, Nakamoto wrote in the code of the block,
“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”
If you’re wondering what this line is all about, it was taken verbatim from the headline of a London Times article published on January 3, 2009. It reportedly described how the British government had bailed out banks.
Although Nakamoto never explicitly stated what the message meant, many assumed that it was a reference to the reason behind the creation of Bitcoin. BTC was rolled out for a plethora of reasons. Financial freedom was one of the primary objectives. The above message is likely to show how Bitcoin bypassed middlemen and banks that Nakamoto believed to be dishonest and unreliable in favor of developing a more democratic form of money.
In addition to this, the above message has been the only form of communication from Satoshi Nakamoto. However, Nakamoto mined Bitcoins for several years following the creation of the Genesis Block. However, in 2011, Nakamoto disappeared and hasn’t moved his stash of Bitcoins over the past 10 years.
Block 1 or Block 0?
The meaning of genesis by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is that it is “the origin or coming into being of something.” Therefore, it is common to assume that the genesis block is Block 1 of the Bitcoin blockchain. However, it is actually Block 0.
Owning to its block height, or how far it is from the very first block in the blockchain, the Bitcoin genesis block, which was once known as “block 1,” is now typically called “block 0” by existing users.
Block 1, the next block, wasn’t mined until January 9, six days later. The average timestamp difference between blocks is ten minutes, therefore this is unusual.
However, several explanations for the delay were put forth. Several speculated that Nakamoto spent a total of six days mining the first block to verify the stability of the Bitcoin system.
Here’s how Bitcoin’s Genesis Block was mined
Since nobody even knew it existed at the time, and it wasn’t worth anything in any fiat currency, Nakamoto mined the first block on a CPU without any competition.
At the moment, Bitcoin was more of an experiment than a currency or a store of value asset. These blocks were placed at difficulty 1, which is extremely low compared to the current bitcoin difficulty, therefore it would be quite simple for existing miners to solve them.
Additionally, it was only after a year that BTC garnered traction.
What’s the current status of Block 0?
50 bitcoins that could not be utilized or were never spent were included in the Bitcoin Genesis Block. Certain individuals assume it was on purpose. However, a few others claim that this was a mistake that Nakamoto made.
Nevertheless, the rewards from the block were transferred to the address, 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa. The address now has more than 66 BTC in it, of which 50 are still unspent.