Genesis Block


3109 web3 genesis block times of london
The Times Jan 3 2009

The Genesis Block

The genesis block (AKA block0) is Satoshi Nakamoto’s hard coded block that launched the Bitcoin network on 3 January, 2009 (at approx 18:15:05 UTC). (R1)

For Bitcoin (and most of its’ altcoin children), block0 is hard coded and generates un-spendable rewards because it is the first block in a new chain (hence the phrase “blockchain”). Bitcoin’s block0 contains a message in its’ coinbase parameter (a field used to send block rewards to miners). It is a reminder of why Bitcoin was invented to begin with.

It reads: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. Meaning Bitcoin was invented to make future financial institutions accountable for their actions.

At the time, banks all over the world were getting bailed out by their governments, because the banking system had allowed massive debts in the real estate market that nearly caused the whole global economy to collapse. You can learn a lot more about the 2008 financial crisis here and here.

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 // ..The Times 03
00000090 4A 61 6E 2F 32 30 30 39 20 43 68 61 6E 63 65 6C // Jan/2009 Chancel
000000A0 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 f
000000C0 6F 72 20 62 61 6E 6B 73 FF FF FF FF 01 00 F2 05 // or banksÿÿÿÿ

000000D0 2A 01 00 00 00 43 41 04 67 8A FD B0 FE 55 48 27

(R1) Genesis Block hex message converted to ASCII on the right hand side

3 January 2009 was the start of Web3 because at the core of its beginnings is decentralized accountability and self-sovereignty over existing Web2 control, censorship, and most of all – centralization. Bitcoin brought accountability to a financial system that long abandoned that idea in favor of mountains of debts and it “sparked the idea that peer-to-peer and censorship-resistant money can exist, removed from governments, corporations, and any single entity.” (R1)

Web3 is essentially the opposite of how the Web2 Internet works today, because the blockchain makes all transactions using it accountable and secure. Accountable because blockchains record and keep all transactions that ever used it; and secure because all blocks in a chain build upon each other.

Also, users own their own data (ie. they have “self-sovereignty”), meaning users can be their own bank and not need third parties to help settle transactions for them. They are free to spend their money wherever they want, whenever they want.

Future Web3 technologies may even go beyond blockchain to achieve the same level of accountability and consensus at much higher speeds than we have today with Visa and Mastercard.

After block0 the timestamp for block1 came 6 days later: “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” (R2)



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