The Bitcoin BTC, -1.95% whitepaper authored by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto was published on October 31, 2008. About two months later, on January 3, 2009, the Bitcoin blockchain actually became a reality when the first Bitcoin block was mined. Often referred to as the “genesis block”, it netted the standard 50 BTC block reward that was in place before the first halving.
At first, Bitcoin attracted a small group of enthusiasts, and it could be mined successfully with a personal computer. Now, large warehouses full of specialized ASICs are competing for the 12.5 BTC block reward, which is currently worth about $47,500. The last Bitcoin block reward is estimated to be issued in 2140, maximizing the total possible supply of 21 million BTC.
The address that received the reward from the Bitcoin genesis block can be viewed here, and we can see that its balance has actually grown to about 66.9 BTC thanks to transactions sent by Bitcoin fans. Indeed, the address has received 12 transactions today in celebration of Bitcoin’s tenth anniversary.
The receiver of the first Bitcoin transaction was American cryptographer Hal Finney, who received 10 BTC from Satoshi Nakamoto on January 12, 2009.
Satoshi Nakamoto included a message in Bitcoin’s genesis block, which reads “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. The message refers to that day’s headline of The Times, a major British newspaper. The inclusion of the message is widely interpreted as a criticism of how governments were handling the great recession of 2008.
As observers from all sides continue to argue whether Bitcoin is either immensely undervalued or overvalued, one thing is for certain: with a price tag of $3,800 and a market capitalization of $66.8 billion, Bitcoin has captured the attention of people across the world, 10 years and 556917 blocks after it was first deployed by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.