Genesis Block

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  • The first block in the blockchain, used to initialise the cryptocurrency.
  • All cryptocurrencies have a genesis block but Bitcoin’s is that little bit more special as it was the first of the first.
  • Every block created since the genesis block can automatically trace it as its ancestor by the linkages to previous blocks in the block header.
  • Fun Fact: The Bitcoin Genesis block contains a hidden message in the coinbase transaction – it says "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.". This is clearly a note from the eponymous Satoshi Nakomoto performing two functions – firstly marking the time of the first block and secondly economically pointing out the problems with the present Government bailouts of too big to fail banks and the moral hazard problem.
  • Second Fun Fact: even though the Genesis Block of Bitcoin references the third of January, the hash for the block was generated six days later. From (24-12-2019) Phil Wilson:

"Some folks believe the hash for the Genesis Block was generated on 3rd January 2009 and the hash for the second block was generated six days later. This is incorrect. Bitcoin hashing *began* on 3rd January 2009. It took six days for the hash of the Genesis Block to be found.

It took extra time due to using a separate program for the Genesis hashing with the target set to 42 leading zeros. It was expected to take about a month and a half for a fifty percent chance of finding a legitimate hash. Finding it within only six days was quite a surprise."