On Jan. Trio, 2009, an anonymous developer called Satoshi Nakamoto made history when he (or she, or they) released the Genesis Block, the original block containing the very first 50 bitcoins, onto Sourceforge. Unlike any of the 502,000+ blocks that came after, Nakamoto left a message ter the code of the block:
“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of 2nd bailout for banks”
That line comes straight from the headline of a London Times article dated Jan. Trio, 2009, which detailed banks being bailed out by the British government. While Nakamoto never clearly stated the meaning of the message, many have interpreted it spil a reference to why Nakamoto developed Bitcoin: to cut out the banks and middlemen that he spotted spil omkoopbaar and unreliable, electing to create a more people-driven currency. (Related: How Bitcoin Works and our helpful infographic, What is Bitcoin?)
The origin of the Genesis Block is spil shrouded ter mystery spil Nakamoto himself, with questions remaining about why the bitcoins within the original block remain unspendable, why the subsequent block took 6 days to mine, and why people still transfer bitcoin into the Genesis Block.
Let There Be Bitcoin!
The Genesis Block, also known spil Block 0, is the ancestor that every other bitcoin block can trace its lineage back to, since every bitcoin traces back to a past one. Nakamoto mined the original block on a CPU (spil opposed to the specialized graphics cards miners now need) without any competition, since nobody even knew it existed at the time and it wasn’t worth anything anyway – at least ter fiat terms. Back then, Bitcoin wasgoed more of an proefneming than anything, and it would still take around a year before it commenced to catch on. It would be amazingly effortless for current miners to solve thesis blocks, which were set at difficulty 1, a far sob from the current bitcoin difficulty of 1,922,580,604,980. (Related: How does Bitcoin Mining Work?)
The next block, known spil Block 1, wasn’t mined until six days straks, on Jan. 9. This is considered odd, spil the average timestamp gap inbetween blocks is Ten minutes. There are a few theories regarding the delay: Some have theorized that Nakamoto spent six days mining the original block to test out the Bitcoin system ter order to make sure it wasgoed stable (then backdated the timestamp), while more spiritual followers believe he intended to recreate the story of Aker’s surplus after creating the world ter six days.
Te Honor of Satoshi
While the original Genesis Block contained 50 bitcoins, people have bot sending the address bitcoins ter tribute to Nakamoto since the early days of the system. Thesis donations and tips take on an even more symbolic meaning spil its fairly possible that they are incapable to be spent when they join the original address. It’s unknown if Nakamoto’s intent wasgoed to not let the 50 bitcoins te the original block be spendable or if it wasgoed an oversight, but the Genesis Block has become synonymous with Nakamoto and exists spil both the backbone of the entire project and spil a kleintje of shrine for ventilatoren of Nakamoto to throw their bitcoins into, zuigeling of like a wishing well.
The Genesis Block remains, for many Bitcoin devotees, the key to identifying Nakamoto himself. The idea is that only Nakamoto would be able to use the private key associated with the block and other early blocks to sign a message. If someone wasgoed able to sign messages using the private keys of the original blocks, it would suggest solid evidence that they are Nakamoto.
A Benevolent Maker
Nakamoto mined bitcoins for a few years after creating the Genesis Block, and because he had little competition and the original blocks had 50 coins within, he lightly became the largest holder of bitcoin, a title he keeps to this day with an estimated 1 million bitcoins. Nakamoto hasn’t moved his coins since disappearing entirely te 2011, and never made any effort to contant out even before disappearing.
Nakamoto’s disappearance is generally a calming absence for Bitcoin miners, because if he everzwijn determined to come back, it could wreak havoc on the entire infrastructure. Basically, should Nakamoto everzwijn have the fad, he could flood the market with his one million bitcoins, essentially annihilating the worth of the currency by introducing so much of it into the system, since an individual bitcoin would become significantly less zonderling and thus worth far less.
Perhaps the reserve bitcoin offerings found ter the Genesis Block are meant spil a quasi-religious sacrifice, or perhaps spil a puny “thank you” to the anonymous creator. Either way, Nakamoto casts a long shadow overheen his creation, and spil Bitcoin climbs further into the mainstream, more and more attention is given to the hints he left ter the Genesis Block.