What is the Genesis Block, & why is it so important?

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

Before touching on the importance of the Genesis Block, I’d like to define a block in the Blockchain context. You can visualize a block like a record book for transactions. In technical terms, a block is a permanent transaction file in the digital currency network.

Crypto miners who solve complex math problems receive a reward by consensus to add a new block to the blockchain network. So, every new block is linked together. This is the fundamental anatomy of the Blockchain.

Genesis Block is seen as the symbol of the first peer-to-peer digital currency. Furthermore, many documents in the Bitcoin world mention that the Genesis Block was the first Bitcoin blockchain using cryptographic principles. Thus, many cryptologists and Bitcoin enthusiasts analyzed this particular block and created numerous hypotheses.

Unlike other blocks, the Genesis Block has a unique property. Exceptionally, it is not possible to link it to other blocks. In addition, it has an unspendable attribute in the system. Some believe that it is on purpose, and some hypothesize that it is a bug in the system.

No one knows for sure. However, many believe that this special block belongs to Satoshi, so this mysterious person made it on purpose.

According to Bitcoin literature, every 10 minutes, a block is created. For example, this article points out that “Bitcoin Miners Usually Create 6 Blocks per Hour. They Just Banged Out 16: In a significant deviation from the norm, bitcoin miners just produced 16 blocks in 63 minutes.”

I mention this frequency because, according to the records, the second block after the Genesis Block took six days to create. Interestingly some people associate it with religious beliefs such as God created the world in six days, as mentioned in the Genesis creation narrative.

According to the Bitcoin.it, the hash of the Genesis Block is 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f. You can review a representation of the Genesis Block as it appeared in a comment in an old version of Bitcoin from the same resource.

Bitcoin enthusiasts found an interesting Easter Egg in the Genesis Block.

“0x736B6E616220726F662074756F6C69616220646E6F63657320666F206B6E697262206E6F20726F6C6C65636E61684320393030322F6E614A2F33302073656D695420656854”

It is a comment describing the message Satoshi put in. When translated into Latin characters, it came with this interesting sentence:

“sknab rof tuoliab dnoces fo knirb no rollecnahC 9002/naJ/30 semiT ehT”.

Can you guess what it says?

You need to read the sentence backwards.

It says:

“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”.

Considering the effects of the 2008 financial crash as the inspiration for virtual currencies, you can learn more about the importance of this particular comment at the Genesis Block Newspaper.

We learned a lot about Satoshi when they posted an email regarding Bitcoin XT Fork from their Vistomail account in 2015. The story requires a detailed background as it is very complex. Those details cannot fit into an article. So, I plan to post more about the progress with technical information, which matters more than the political aspect of this saga.

My focus is on the network’s scalability, capacity, and performance aspects from an architectural point of view. Technology excites me more than politics.

However, if you cannot wait for my follow-up articles and enjoy great documentaries about mystical people, you may check this excellent YouTube video.

About the Author

I am a technologist, postdoctoral researcher in cognitive science, author of several books, editor of publications, and digital marketing strategist with four decades of industry experience.

I write articles for Medium, NewsBreak, and Vocal Media. On Medium, I established ILLUMINATION, ILLUMINATION-Curated, ILLUMINATION’ S MIRROR, ILLUMINATION Book Chapters, Technology Hits, SYNERGY, and Readers Hope publications supporting 11,900+ writers on Medium.

You may subscribe to my account to be notified when I post on Medium and join my publications requesting access here. I share my health stories on my publication, Euphoria.

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