Bitcoin’s Genesis Block is 12 Years Old!
The Genesis Block was the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain. It was launched by Satoshi Nakamoto on 3 January 2009. The Genesis Block was the first confirmation that blockchain could act as a viable method for transferring money.
Although Bitcoin is synonymous with wild price fluctuations, the blockchain technology that underpins it is extremely stable — it’s been around 12 years! With the Genesis Block, Nakamoto simultaneously created a simple payment system and a whole new financial system.
Although early blockchain technology goes back as far as the 1990s, blockchain was first used with Bitcoin. The technical details of the Bitcoin’s blockchain technology was shared by Nakamoto in the “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” whitepaper, published on 31 October 2008. They then created the Genesis Block on 3 January 2009, launching the blockchain.
Nakamoto documented and immortalised Genesis block launch date, Bitcoin’s birthday, by adding a message. They added the sentence “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” to the code. This is a direct extract from British newspaper The Times on 3 January 2009.
The choice of newspaper headline may be interpreted as a reference to the shortcomings and issues associated with our existing financial system.
The blocks that make up the blockchain consist of data sets where transfer transaction and confirmation records are kept both encrypted and open.
Hash is the conversion of data into a unique code set, this is done by encrypting with a cryptographic hash function. Data entered into the blockchain becomes a digital fingerprint — it is uneditable and anonymous.
The phrase “Block 0” is also used for the Genesis Block. The block serves as an anchor, its features differ from other blocks in the blockchain. Because it is first block created, it is the only one that does not contain previous block hash.
To this day, people continue to donate Bitcoin to the address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa. This is actually Nakamoto’s original address and people like to think of their donations as a sign of respect. About 19 Bitcoin has been sent by users to the address. It also hosts the first 50 Bitcoins, which are permanently non-transferrable.