What is the Genesis Block and why should you know about it?
The “birth” block of Bitcoin signalized the beginning of the world of crypto. But what is the genesis block exactly?
What is the Genesis Block?
The genesis block is the first block of a blockchain. What makes it different from other blocks is that it does not refer to previously mined blocks. Instead, it is coded, by design, into the software of the application that makes use of its blockchain and makes that first mined “coins” unspendable.
Who mined the first block of Bitcoin?
The first block of Bitcoin was mined by its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, and the mining reward of 50 BTC was sent to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa, on the 3rd of January 2009.
Why should you know about it?
The hash of Bitcoin genesis block, 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f, contains two additional leading hex zeroes than normally required for a genesis block. What is interesting about this hash is that it contains, along with the usual information, the following text:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.
This message refers to the headline of The Times on the 3rd of January 2009. People believe that it most likely acts as proof that the creation of the block was on the given date or sometime later. The same people believe that it serves as a statement on the unstable banking conditions.
Such was the confidence of Nakamoto in his coin, that he predicted Bitcoin to act as a solution for the current economic problems that both banks and other financial institutions are facing.