The BTC Genesis Block
I was wondering about the genesis block of BTC and how it couldn't contain a hash of the previous block. Of course the answer is that it can't. There is no previous block.
This sent me on a few searches and there was lots of information because this has been talked about many times by people smarter than me. On that journey I found some cool details that I didn't know about and just wanted to throw them here.
The Time Stamp
The genesis block contains the string:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks. As you can see in this image of the raw hex value of the first block:
The idea seems to be that by putting this in the block Satoshi was able to time stamp the first block to that headline in the paper and show that it was not created prior to this date. Pretty fun fact if you ask me. 🙂
This first block creation sent 50 BTC to an address where they cannot be spent because of how it is structured in the code.
The Balance Goes Up
The crazy thing is that now that address has a balance of 66.7141087 BTC with 50 BTC of it unusable but the theory is that the additional ones can be used. People have been sending BTC in various amounts since 2009 to this address totaling over 1134 transactions.
The last contribution was on the 9th of this month and I am sure it will continue.