14 years ago, on January 3, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto launched the Bitcoin network at approximately 1:15 PM (ET) on a Saturday afternoon and blocked zero. Satoshi’s technology allows “online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” Since its birth, Bitcoin has significantly changed the financial system and spawned an entire cryptocurrency economy worth over $800 billion.
The History and Significance of Bitcoin’s Building Block: 14 Years Later
Today is the 14th anniversary of the genesis block, also known as block zero, the first Bitcoin block to launch the network. Block zero is special because there are no ancestor blocks before it, and it is hardcoded into the software so that it has an official starting point and every node can validate the blockchain from the beginning.
Since the zero block is hardcoded, the 50 BTC coinbase reward stored in the first block can never be spent. 50 BTC is held at the Bitcoin address “1A1zP” and the address has seen a number of dust transactions sent to the wallet over the past 14 years. This means that at the time of writing, Bitcoin address 1A1zP has 68.56 BTC in its wallet that can never be spent.
Another famous fact about block zero is the Satoshi Nakamoto message encoded in the coinbase setting. This special field can be used to enter an arbitrary message into the block. The message read: “The Times 03/01/2009 Chancellor on verge of second bailout for banks.” The message has been interpreted in numerous ways, but mostly as a reference to the 2008 financial crisis and bank bailouts.
Bitcoin users can confirm that a genesis block is the first block because, unlike every block submitted to the system, it has no previous block to refer to. A hash that should refer to the previous block is encoded with all zeros to indicate that it is zero. All blocks after block zero contain the hash of the previous block header, which links the blocks to the chain.
Many people don’t know that the Bitcoin block after block zero was mined six days after block 1, on January 9, 2009, at approximately 9:54 PM (ET). The second unit was detonated one minute later at 21:55 and the third unit was detonated approximately seven minutes later at 22:02. At this point, the following blocks began to have a more consistent block interval or time between each block.
Historical data shows that on January 5, 2009, the total hashrate of the network, presumably controlled by Satoshi alone, was approximately 948,165.4 hashes per second (H/s) or 948.1654 kilohashes per second (KH/s). As of January 12, 2009, the Bitcoin hash rate was 560,000,000 H/s, or 560 megaashes per second (MH/s). Most likely, computer scientist Hal Finney on January 10, 2009 he said he was “running Bitcoin”, he likely mined his first block that day and increased the hash rate to the newly opened network.
Bitcoin changed everything because it provided the first working solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem and it was the first working triple-entry ledger scheme introduced to the world. The technology that Satoshi developed cannot be manipulated at whim like the money that central banks distribute to the underclass of bankers and world politicians.
Bitcoin is a technology that enables uncensored transactions that allow the free flow of ideas. In light of widespread fraud and currency manipulation by leaders, the demand for a secure, cryptography-based payment system that is resistant to censorship continues. The current monetary system has been repeatedly exploited by the global elite, making the need for such a system increasingly urgent.
What do you think of the Bitcoin network that has been around for 14 years since Satoshi Nakamoto launched his blockchain on January 3, 2009? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.
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