The first block or genesis block is the initial piece in the construction of all blockchain and an important part of blockchain. Learn here what they are and their importance.

Se calls the first genesis block block of each blockchain. This type of blocks is used to start a cryptocurrency. It was Satoshi Nakamoto who used this name for the first block of the chain Bitcoin. Any blockchain will have a block of similar characteristics that starts its own blockchain.

First Bitcoin (BTC) block in Bit2Me Explorer

Bitcoin genesis block

The genesis block of the Bitcoin chain was created on January 3, 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. This block differs from the other blocks in that it does not have a block preceding it. Because it does not have a predecessor, a few small parameters needed to be modified to create it.

In addition, the Bitcoin genesis block has a rather curious fact: The Coinbase of this block contains the headline of the newspaper 'The Times'of January 3, 2009. This is introduced as a proof on the date of creation of this block. Specifically, the owner is: "The (British) Chancellor is considering a second bank bailout program"

The headline reflects Nakamoto's idea of ​​developing a cryptocurrency where trusted third parties such as banks or institutional entities will not be needed.

Curiosities of the genesis block of Bitcoin

Besides the cover of "The Times" hides two other interesting facts. The first is that from the creation of the genesis block until the software is released, six days pass. There are different theories about it, but only Nakamoto himself could clarify this point. The most widely accepted is that the correct creation of the block was checked and verified.

The second curious aspect is that block zero added the first 50 bitcoins of the network. These bitcoins have never been moved and can never be moved. That they cannot be spent is due to a peculiarity of creating the code. It is unknown whether it was accidental or intentional. This mystery could only be solved by Satoshi Nakamoto.

What is the function of a genesis block?

Its function is as essential as the need to create foundations before building a house since it is a “source” block. No matter what chain you select, by looking back on its history you will always come to its own genesis block as the root of that cryptocurrency.

A genesis block also serves to guarantee communication between two nodes. This is because two nodes can only be paired if they have the same genesis block. Otherwise, both nodes would be incompatible. On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that each node has its own initial block, creating a huge network in which a genesis block of greater difficulty can never be replaced by one of lesser difficulty.

Imagine for a moment a pyramid of blocks, above the vertex would be the genesis block presiding over the rest of the blocks. No matter how many links you went down, they would all be anchored to their origin.

The times headline that appears in the bitcoin genesis block

List of genesis blocks of multiple cryptocurrencies

Any cryptocurrency based on its own blockchain will have a genesis block. Some don't call it that. Other ways to name it are 'Block 0' or 'First Block'. Below, you can see some examples of the first blocks that have started a blockchain:

Bitcoin, a change in the economic landscape

In January 2019 it was the tenth anniversary since the launch of Bitcoin. Ten years in which Bitcoin itself has been evolving as it encountered challenges on its way. And not only this, when looking back it gives the sensation of looking at the universe through a telescope. And it is that today it can be said that the genesis block of Bitcoin was the Big Bang of cryptocurrencies, creating a rich ecosystem full of galaxies in the form of blockchains.

Meanwhile, there are developers who are considering new ways to generate and preserve genesis blocks. This is because under the current dynamics there is a risk of delaying transactions due to the large write size of blockchains.

Now you know what a genesis block is and its curious origin. “Being your own bank” was and still is the goal of Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. For this reason, some experts assure that we will continue to see the community grow, until achieving global economic independence.

Did you already know what is blockchain? If you do not know the topic yet, we invite you to read our article about it.