Genesis block - Bitcoin Wiki (2024)

A genesis block is the first block of a block chain. Modern versions of Bitcoin number it as block 0, though very early versions counted it as block 1. The genesis block is almost always hardcoded into the software of the applications that utilize its block chain. It is a special case in that it does not reference a previous block, and for Bitcoin and almost all of its derivatives, it produces an unspendable subsidy.

Main network genesis block

Here is a representation of the genesis block[1] as it appeared in a comment in an old version of Bitcoin (line 1613). The first section defines exactly all of the variables necessary to recreate the block. The second section is the block in standard printblock format, which contains shortened versions of the data in the first section.

GetHash() = 0x000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26fhashMerkleRoot = 0x4a5e1e4baab89f3a32518a88c31bc87f618f76673e2cc77ab2127b7afdeda33btxNew.vin[0].scriptSig = 486604799 4 0x736B6E616220726F662074756F6C69616220646E6F63657320666F206B6E697262206E6F20726F6C6C65636E61684320393030322F6E614A2F33302073656D695420656854txNew.vout[0].nValue = 5000000000txNew.vout[0].scriptPubKey = 0x5F1DF16B2B704C8A578D0BBAF74D385CDE12C11EE50455F3C438EF4C3FBCF649B6DE611FEAE06279A60939E028A8D65C10B73071A6F16719274855FEB0FD8A6704 OP_CHECKSIGblock.nVersion = 1block.nTime = 1231006505block.nBits = 0x1d00ffffblock.nNonce = 2083236893CBlock(hash=000000000019d6, ver=1, hashPrevBlock=00000000000000, hashMerkleRoot=4a5e1e, nTime=1231006505, nBits=1d00ffff, nNonce=2083236893, vtx=1) CTransaction(hash=4a5e1e, ver=1, vin.size=1, vout.size=1, nLockTime=0) CTxIn(COutPoint(000000, -1), coinbase 04ffff001d0104455468652054696d65732030332f4a616e2f32303039204368616e63656c6c6f72206f6e206272696e6b206f66207365636f6e64206261696c6f757420666f722062616e6b73) CTxOut(nValue=50.00000000, scriptPubKey=0x5F1DF16B2B704C8A578D0B) vMerkleTree: 4a5e1e

Hash

The hash of the genesis block, 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f,[1] has two more leading hex zeroes than were required for an early block.

Coinbase

The coinbase parameter (seen above in hex) contains, along with the normal data, the following text:[2]

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks[1]

This was probably intended as proof that the block was created on or after January 3, 2009, as well as a comment on the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking. Additionally, it suggests that Satoshi Nakamoto may have lived in the United Kingdom.[3]


The detail "second bailout for banks" could also suggest that in a supposedly liberal and capitalist system, rescuing banks like that was a problem for Satoshi. The chosen topic could hint at bitcoin's purpose.

Block reward

The first 50 BTC block reward went to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa,[1] though this reward can't be spent due to a quirk in the way that the genesis block is expressed in the code. It is not known if this was done intentionally or accidentally.[4][5][6] It is believed that other outputs sent to this address are spendable, but it is unknown if Satoshi Nakamoto has the private key for this particular address, if one existed at all.

Timestamp

Although the average time between Bitcoin blocks is 10 minutes, the timestamp of the next block is a full 6 days after the genesis block. One interpretation is that Satoshi was working on bitcoin for some time beforehand and the The Times front page prompted him to release it to the public. He then mined the genesis block with a timestamp in the past to match the headline. It is also possible that, since the block's hash is so low, he may have spent 6 days mining it with the same timestamp before proceeding to block 1. The prenet hypothesis suggests that the genesis block was solved on January 3, but the software was tested by Satoshi Nakamoto using that genesis block until January 9, when all the test blocks were deleted and the genesis block was reused for the main network.

Raw block data

The raw hex version of the Genesis block looks like:

00000000 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................00000010 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................00000020 00 00 00 00 3B A3 ED FD 7A 7B 12 B2 7A C7 2C 3E ....;£íýz{.²zÇ,>00000030 67 76 8F 61 7F C8 1B C3 88 8A 51 32 3A 9F B8 AA gv.a.È.ÈŠQ2:Ÿ¸ª00000040 4B 1E 5E 4A 29 AB 5F 49 FF FF 00 1D 1D AC 2B 7C K.^J)«_Iÿÿ...¬+|00000050 01 01 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................00000060 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................00000070 00 00 00 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF 4D 04 FF FF 00 1D ......ÿÿÿÿM.ÿÿ..00000080 01 04 45 54 68 65 20 54 69 6D 65 73 20 30 33 2F ..EThe Times 03/00000090 4A 61 6E 2F 32 30 30 39 20 43 68 61 6E 63 65 6C Jan/2009 Chancel000000A0 6C 6F 72 20 6F 6E 20 62 72 69 6E 6B 20 6F 66 20 lor on brink of 000000B0 73 65 63 6F 6E 64 20 62 61 69 6C 6F 75 74 20 66 second bailout f000000C0 6F 72 20 62 61 6E 6B 73 FF FF FF FF 01 00 F2 05 or banksÿÿÿÿ..ò.000000D0 2A 01 00 00 00 43 41 04 67 8A FD B0 FE 55 48 27 *....CA.gŠý°þUH'000000E0 19 67 F1 A6 71 30 B7 10 5C D6 A8 28 E0 39 09 A6 .gñ¦q0·.\Ö¨(à9.¦000000F0 79 62 E0 EA 1F 61 DE B6 49 F6 BC 3F 4C EF 38 C4 ybàê.aÞ¶Iö¼?Lï8Ä00000100 F3 55 04 E5 1E C1 12 DE 5C 38 4D F7 BA 0B 8D 57 óU.å.Á.Þ\8M÷º..W00000110 8A 4C 70 2B 6B F1 1D 5F AC 00 00 00 00 ŠLp+kñ._¬....

Broken down it looks like this:

01000000 - version0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 - prev block3BA3EDFD7A7B12B27AC72C3E67768F617FC81BC3888A51323A9FB8AA4B1E5E4A - merkle root29AB5F49 - timestampFFFF001D - bits1DAC2B7C - nonce01 - number of transactions01000000 - version01 - input0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000FFFFFFFF - prev output4D - script length04FFFF001D0104455468652054696D65732030332F4A616E2F32303039204368616E63656C6C6F72206F6E206272696E6B206F66207365636F6E64206261696C6F757420666F722062616E6B73 - scriptsigFFFFFFFF - sequence01 - outputs00F2052A01000000 - 50 BTC43 - pk_script length4104678AFDB0FE5548271967F1A67130B7105CD6A828E03909A67962E0EA1F61DEB649F6BC3F4CEF38C4F35504E51EC112DE5C384DF7BA0B8D578A4C702B6BF11D5FAC - pk_script00000000 - lock time

References

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Genesis block - Bitcoin Wiki (2024)
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