Bitcoin Turns 14, Here’s How It Started

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Alex Dovbnya

Bitcoin’s genesis block was launched on this day 14 years ago

The Bitcoin blockchain has now been running for 14 years, a remarkable feat.

Today marks the anniversary of the genesis block, which was mined on Jan. 3, 2009, at the height of a global financial crisis.

The Bitcoin genesis block was launched by the infamous Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity remains unknown.

The genesis block was the very first one on the Bitcoin blockchain and marked both the beginning of a new era in decentralized digital money and the launching of quite possibly one of the most revolutionary inventions of this century.

The genesis block contained 50 Bitcoins, which were not spent, as cryptographers had theorized that this was going to be considered a reward for running nodes on the network. It also contains an old newspaper headline from The London Times, which reads “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This was thought to be a statement about the state of money in general at the time, with banks being bailed out due to irresponsible banking practices.

It has been speculated that Satoshi used this header to signal opposition to the way big banks ran things before cryptocurrencies came into existence, and how something like Bitcoin could make those same banks redundant by providing decentralized solutions for financially managing transactions.

The Bitcoin blockchain itself has changed drastically since its humble beginnings 10 years ago, with the total number of blocks reaching 770,111. Bitcoin remains at the forefront of digital currency trading.