Bitcoin is officially ten years old. On this day ten years ago, Bitcoin’s elusive creator Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first Bitcoin block. Known as the “genesis block” or Block#0, it marks the very start of the Bitcoin blockchain.
A decade later, there are now more than half a million blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain. And the price of one bitcoin has soared from almost zero to $3,900.
The very first block was mined by Satoshi on January 3rd, 2009. You can actually see it here on our Block Explorer.
The block contains just one transaction: the 50 BTC reward for mining it.
The block also contains a pointed message about the existing banking system with a message written into the code:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks
The message refers to the headline in The Times newspaper on that day. You could argue it’s a simple time stamp. However, it’s more likely a comment on the failing banking system. British Chancellor Alistair Darling was considering a bailout for the banks after the financial crisis in 2008.
It’s no coincidence that Satoshi included this message as he ushered in a radical new monetary system of his own.
Satoshi was rewarded with 50 bitcoins for mining the first block. However, due to the way the bitcoin blockchain is coded, the reward for the first block cannot be spent. Over time, people have donated additional BTC to the block.
Even today, the Genesis block received a gift from the following address:
To celebrate the anniversary, crypto exchange BitMex took out an advert on the front page of The Times. It reads: “Thanks Satoshi. We owe you one. Happy 10th Birthday, Bitcoin.”
It’s a subtle nod to Satoshi’s hidden message on the genesis block which referenced The Times newspaper headline.
Happy 10th Birthday Bitcoin! pic.twitter.com/DpOPjojsOd
— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) January 2, 2019
Happy birthday, Bitcoin!