Steemit Crypto Academy [Beginners’ Level] | Season 3 Week 2 | The Genesis Block: The Beginning of the Beginning
It’s really a huge pleasure to be part of this great community. I would like to appreciate the Steemit team again for the opportunity given to me and the trust to deliver as a professor. It is an honor.
I have been grading the tasks from the fixed classes for a while and I have noticed the collective zeal of the community to learn about the crypto world. Sure the crypto world is full of opportunities and wonders but have you ever wondered how it all started? Have you ever wondered how a piece of digital space became of immense value?
Well, let your mind wonder no more because today we are going to drill down the blockchain ancestry to discover ancient treasure. I am @awesononso and I would be your guide for today. Buckle up as we take a little trip to the past and discover The Genesis Block.
What is The Genesis Block?
The word Genesis is used to refer to the beginning of something. In Religion, it refers to the Beginning of creation and life as we know it - the beginning of the beginning. The word also means the same thing in Blockchain terms.
Simply put, The Genesis Block is the first ever block of a blockchain. It is the Adam of all blocks having no previous hash or ancestry behind it. As the original, it is the common history of every other block on the blockchain. It indirectly defines the hash of other blocks with its hash referenced in every new block.
The Genesis Block of a Blockchain is regarded as the foundation of that blockchain. It is usually depicted as Block 0 on the Blockchain but some Blockchains refer to it as Block 1.
Now we have known what The Genesis Block is, let us look at the Bitcoin Genesis Block.
Bitcoin Genesis Block
In the beginning, there was fiat money and a conventional banking system. The Government controlled the whole financial system with their policies. Money and value were centralized.
But then, in 2008, the Bitcoin Whitepaper was published with promising details of a decentralized digital cash system strictly on a peer-to-peer level. The dream was realized on the 3rd of January, 2009 when the anonymous Bitcoin founder(s), Satoshi Nakamoto, made a Bitcoin transaction giving birth to Block 0, the Bitcoin Genesis Block. This single event would later lead to a wide creation and adoption of cryptocurrencies which is still happening 12 years later.
Mining the Genesis Block was easier than what we have today and the reward was a lot higher. The reward for mining a block today is 6.25BTC while that of the Genesis Block was 50BTC.
The hash for the Genesis block is:
These coins were sent to an address where it remains untouchable and seemingly unspendable.
The wallet address the coins were sent to is:
If you check the wallet address on the Block explorer you would notice that there are more than 50BTC in the wallet. As of the time of writing this, there are 68.4BTC in the wallet from 2,945 transactions.
Well, the reason for this is that Bitcoin enthusiasts frequently send some coins to the address as a sort of offering or tribute to Satoshi Nakamoto. It's just a way of saying "Thank you and we will never forget you".
Satoshi Nakamoto has impacted the lives of millions with the Bitcoin project that a lot of people now hold the bitcoin founder in reverence. One of the strange things is that after Block 0 was mined, it took 6 days before Block 1 was mined instead of the normal 10 minutes. Although many crypto and blockchain enthusiasts believe that the delay was just to check that the new technology had no flaws, others believe that it was an attempt to mimic the story of the world being created in 6 days.
Satoshi's Secret Message
The Bitcoin Genesis Block is something of great mysteries. The fact that it was mined out of the blues by a very mysterious entity and that the rewards are unavailable is already a lot to ponder on. Adding to this, the Bitcoin Founder left a secret message on the Coinbase Transaction of the Genesis Block.
A Coinbase Transaction is the first transaction of a block that is automatically triggered to reward the miner.
If we check the Inputs section of this Transaction, we would see the Hex Sigscript below.
This Hex can be converted to normal text with an online converter to read as; "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks."
This message has no indicated clear meaning but most Bitcoin enthusiasts have concluded that the message was to reemphasize the goal of Bitcoin which is to be different from the failed conventional banking system. The message matched the headlines of an article from The Times Newspaper that was published on the day the Genesis Block was mined.
You can go ahead and convert the Hex yourself with this online tool.
Significance of the Bitcoin Genesis Block
The mining of the Genesis Block by Satoshi Nakamoto is a very symbolic event in blockchain history. Below are some impacts that this event has had;
A setting stone for the Bitcoin blockchain: The Genesis block is a measure of orderliness in a Blockchain and it defines how data should be stored in it. The Genesis block is a model for every block on the Bitcoin blockchain. The careful systematic order of the contents of this initial Block is followed by other blocks and determines the criteria to be met for a new block to be mined.
The birth of Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin is considered the first successful cryptocurrency. This crypto coin inspired the creation of other cryptocurrencies and in a decentralized fashion too. 12 years after Bitcoin was created, there are currently over 10,000 cryptocurrencies and it all began with the Genesis Block.
An awakening of blockchain technology: The invention of Bitcoin is regarded as the first application of the Blockchain idea which had been dormant for years. The single event of the Genesis Block mining opened doors of possibilities to the applications of Blockchain in the real world. Now, the technology is being used to meet several problems around the world.
Ethereum Genesis Block
Unlike Bitcoin's Genesis Block which was unexpected, the Ethereum Genesis block was actually anticipated. Back in 2013, Vitalik Buterin, a 19 year old programmer proposed a blockchain project that developers would thrive on.
Before the official launch there was a pre-sale of ether and a couple of prototypes released. The last prototype, Olympic, was released in May 2014 with a bounty of 25,000 ether for users to stress test the blockchain. Finally, on the 30th of July, 2015, Frontier was released as the first official version of the blockchain, Ethereum 1.0.
The Genesis Block was included 8893 transactions from the pre-sale of ether.
There have been several upgrades of the Ethereum Blockchain since the launch but we won't go into that today.
Steem Genesis Block
Our very own special steem has its own Genesis block but this time it is referred to as Block 1. It was created on the 24th of March, 2016.
The Steem Genesis Block can be found on https://steemworld.org.
Simply visit the site https://steemworld.org
Click on Block Explorer.
- Click Ok for Block 1
- You would be able to see the details of the Genesis Block. You can go ahead and sign in to SteemWorld from the top right corner.
Everything has a beginning. For Blockchains, that beginning is the Genesis Block. This Block starts the chain and defines the form of the blockchain to come.
Bitcoin's Genesis Block is probably the most significant Block there is. This block did not just define the form of the Bitcoin Blockchain but it formed the basis of Blockchain Technology in general. Thanks to that 50BTC transaction that started Block 0, a lot of progress and innovation has been made adding value to the lives of people and realizing the dream of true decentralization.
What is the Genesis Block of a Blockchain.
Write on the Bitcoin Genesis Block and its significance.
Go to https://steemworld.org and locate the Steem Genesis Block (You must provide screenshots and sign in as proof of completion).
- This Task will run until 10th July 23:59 UTC.
- Your article should be at least 300 words long.
- Make sure you post this assignment in the Steemit Crypto Academy Community.
- Use the hashtags #awesononso-s3week2 and #cryptoacademy among your first 5 hashtags and tag me @awesononso.
- Plagiarism and content spinning is not tolerated in the Academy. Repeat offenders will be blacklisted and banned from the academy.
- All outsourced images should be copyright free and properly referenced.
- Only students with a minimum of 125SP and a reputation of 50 are eligible to participate. You should also not be powering down.
My Comment section is open for any questions or suggestions.