Exactly 13 years ago today, Block 0 of Bitcoin (Genesis Block) was mined
On 18 August 2008, bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper that will soon revolutionize the world of digital currency. Titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” the 9-page whitepaper was written as part of Nakamoto’s response to the collapse and the fallout from the 2008 banking institutions.
Then on January 03, 2009, exactly 13 years ago today, Block 0 of Bitcoin (commonly known as Bitcoin Genesis) was mined. A Genesis Block is the name given to the first block Bitcoin, though very early versions counted it as block 1.
A blockchain consists of a series of so-called blocks that are used to store information related to transactions that occur on a blockchain network. However, the Genesis block is a special case in that it does not reference a previous block, and for Bitcoin and almost all of its derivatives, it produces an unspendable subsidy.
Unlike the other blocks that came after it, the Genesis block is almost always hardcoded into the software of the applications that utilize its blockchain.
Below is a representation of the genesis block as it first appeared in a comment in an old version of Bitcoin (line 1613). The first section defines exactly all of the variables necessary to recreate the block. The second section is the block in standard printblock format, which contains shortened versions of the data in the first section.
GetHash() = 0x000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f hashMerkleRoot = 0x4a5e1e4baab89f3a32518a88c31bc87f618f76673e2cc77ab2127b7afdeda33b txNew.vin.scriptSig = 486604799 4 0x736B6E616220726F662074756F6C69616220646E6F63657320666F206B6E697262206E6F20726F6C6C65636E61684320393030322F6E614A2F33302073656D695420656854 txNew.vout.nValue = 5000000000 txNew.vout.scriptPubKey = 0x5F1DF16B2B704C8A578D0BBAF74D385CDE12C11EE50455F3C438EF4C3FBCF649B6DE611FEAE06279A60939E028A8D65C10B73071A6F16719274855FEB0FD8A6704 OP_CHECKSIG block.nVersion = 1 block.nTime = 1231006505 block.nBits = 0x1d00ffff block.nNonce = 2083236893 CBlock(hash=000000000019d6, ver=1, hashPrevBlock=00000000000000, hashMerkleRoot=4a5e1e, nTime=1231006505, nBits=1d00ffff, nNonce=2083236893, vtx=1) CTransaction(hash=4a5e1e, ver=1, vin.size=1, vout.size=1, nLockTime=0) CTxIn(COutPoint(000000, -1), coinbase 04ffff001d0104455468652054696d65732030332f4a616e2f32303039204368616e63656c6c6f72206f6e206272696e6b206f66207365636f6e64206261696c6f757420666f722062616e6b73) CTxOut(nValue=50.00000000, scriptPubKey=0x5F1DF16B2B704C8A578D0B) vMerkleTree: 4a5e1e
The hash of the genesis block, 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f, has two more leading hex zeroes than were required for an early block.
In commemoration of the 13 year anniversary of the Genesis block, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey shared the binary code of Block 0.
— jack⚡️ (@jack) January 3, 2022
Over the past decade, we’ve seen the meteoric rise of Bitcoin from a worthless digital currency with zero value between Jan 2009 – Mar 2010 to its highest peak of $69,000 on November 8, 2021. As of May 2010, Bitcoin was still worth less than $0.01.
But everything changed on 22 May 2010, when Laszlo Hanyecz made the first real-world transaction by buying two large Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, an amount that would surpass $600 million if held in April 2021. Today, Bitcoin is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency with a valuation of about $1 trillion.