The word "Blockchain" has become one of the most frequently used words in the trading world, all thanks to the popularity cryptocurrencies have gained over the years. In the simplest of terms, the word "block" is implies a recorded transaction. When blocks are chained together in an arranged manner such that each block is linked to the last block that was created before it, we call the arrangement a Blockchain. Although a blockchain is unending, it must have started somewhere with a particular block.
In today's lecture, professor @awesononso while teaching on the topic "The Genesis Block: The Beginning of the Beginning" has explained to us what the Genesis Block is, and how to check for the properties of the Genesis Block in a blockchain, below is my response to the assignment he gave after the class.
Question 1: WHAT IS THE GENESIS BLOCK OF A BLOCKCHAIN.
What makes a currency a cryptocurrency is that it must have a blockchain. This is the major difference between Tokens and Cryptocurrencies. Thus, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Tron, Ethereum and others have their own blockchain. Due to the fact that transactions are carried out everyday using these currencies, it appears as if the blockchain is unending, as with each new day more blocks are added to the blockchains.
As stated earlier, although blockchain is unending, it must have started with a particular block. This "first" block, which is the beginning of a blockchain is normally called the "Genesis Block", as Genesis means the beginning. Some blockchains refer to the Genesis Block as block 0 (e.g the Bitcoin blockchain) while some refer to it as block 1 (e.g the Steem blockchain).
The Genesis Block is normally coded into the software upon which the blockchain runs, therefore every other block in the blockchain tends to models itself according to the Genesis Block.
Below are some of the characteristics of the Genesis Blockchain.
The Genesis Blockchain is the first block in a blockchain.
It's previous hash value is usually zero (0) and this is because it has no reference to any previous Block.
Since it's the foundation block of the blockchain, it's hash is added to every other block that joins the blockchain.
The amount of the cryptocurrencies mined by the transaction that created the block is normally untradeable.
Question 2: WRITE ON THE BITCOIN GENESIS BLOCK AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE.
The most notable event that happened in the past two decades was the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009. It's introduction has inspired the creation of all the cryptocurrencies we have today.
Since Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency in the world, we can say that it's Genesis Block is the first Genesis block among several other Genesis blocks. Unlike other cryptocurrencies whose Genesis block is referred to as block one, the Bitcoin Genesis block is referred to as the block 0 in the Bitcoin blockchain.
As explained earlier, a block is a recorded transaction. Thus, a Genesis block is the first recorded transaction in a blockchain. Bitcoin's Genesis block was created on the 3rd of January 2009, and during this transaction, 50 BTC was mined.
It's worth noting that the Bitcoin blockchain uses the Consensus Algorithm know as the Proof-of-Work (PoW), in which requires that complex equations must be solved before a block is validated and added to the blockchain. Now, when a block is validated, the miner recieves some BTC for solving those equations. What this means is that the 50 BTC which is recorded in the Genesis block was the reward that the creator and first miner of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto recieved as a reward for solving several complex cryptographic equations required to validate the Genesis block.
Now, these 50 BTC which currently worth over $1.6 million dollars was sent to a wallet address specified as: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa, where it has remained untouched till this day. Apart from the 50BTC in this wallet, you will find 18.449 BTC which were sent to this wallet by Bitcoin users who sent it to the wallet as a way of paying homage to Satoshi Nakamoto who is the creator of Bitcoin. The total number of transactions carried out with this wallet is 2,946, in all of which the wallet only received BTC.
The last transaction was on 2021-07-09 (which is today) at 14:24.
Another notable fact about the Genesis block is how long it took for the next block to be created after it was it. According to the screenshot below, it took 6 days after the Genesis block for the next block to be created.
No one can really say why it took that long except Satoshi Nakamoto, but today, to mine a block takes only 10 mins. Although several people believe that Satoshi Nakamoto was trying to mimic the creation of the Universe, I believe that the 6-days was days spent in making sure that the blockchain was stable, and it's correlation to creation is purely coincidental.
Lastly, the "secret message" which Satoshi Nakamoto dropped on the Coinbase Transaction of the Genesis Block of which hex sigscript which is:
when translated using this tool reads:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.
is more like a time stamp to immortalize the memorable event, as writing only the date may lead to controversies. But writing the date along with a newspaper heading for that day will clear all doubts that the Genesis block was created on that date. For instance, no one can doubt that the Genesis block was created on 03/Jan/2009 as it can be verified with the newspaper heading.
The influence or significance the Bitcoin Genesis Block has in the blockchain technology cannot be over emphasized. Below are some of them
- Model for the Blockchain Technology:
Every other cryptocurrencies stole some of the ideas of Bitcoin, and I believe that if Bitcoin Genesis Block wasn't successful, we may not have had all these cryptocurrencies we have today. So, one can say that Bitcoin Genesis Block created an example for all other blocks, include blocks from other blockchains to follow.
- Birth of Cryptocurrencies:
All cryptocurrencies are obtained as rewards for each verified block mined in the blockchain. If there was no Genesis block, there won't have been another block which will be linked to it to form a blockchain, and thus, there won't have been cryptocurrencies neither will their be a record of cryptocurrencies transactions. Therefore, we can say that the success of cryptocurrency started with the birth of Bitcoin's Genesis block.
- Made Smart Contract and other Blockchains application possible:
Assuming that the Genesis block wasn't successful, probably there won't have been amazing applications of the blockchain such as the smart contract and so on.
- Buying and Selling of Cryptocurrency
What makes the buying and selling of cryptocurrency possible is the integrity of the blockchain. The unhackable nature of the blockchain is based on the fact that all information obtained from a transaction are stored in the blockchain, and before any buying and selling transaction is carried out, it's first verified. Assuming that the Genesis block wasn't successful, there won't have been any way to trade cryptocurrency.
Question 3: Go to https://steemworld.org AND LOCATE THE STEEM GENESIS BLOCK (YOU MUST PROVIDE SCREENSHOTS AND SIGN IN AS PROOF OF COMPLETION)
Steem Genesis Block, which was created in the year 2016 is the first block in the Steem blockchain. This Genesis block is assigned block 1 in the Steem blockchain. Unlike the Bitcoin blockchain that uses the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm, the Steem blockchain uses Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) as it's consensus algorithm. In the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), each block is added to the blockchain after it has been validated by the delegate with the highest stake.
Visit the site https://steemworld.org
When the site opens, click on "Block Explorer" as shown below.
A page pops up, type 1 in the box provided and the select "Ok", as shown below
The block ID of the Steem Genesis block is: 0000000109833ce528d5bbfb3f6225b39ee10086, and it was created on 24th March,2016 at 17:05 as shown in the screenshot below.
I clicked on "Sign in" as shown below.
A page pops up requesting I input my username and my private posting key. after which I clicked "Ok" as shown in the screenshot below.
Below is a proof that I have successfully logged in to the site.
The root of everything is it's beginning, and how established or successful the root is will determine how prosperous the whole system will be. That the cryptocurrency world is making waves today is because of how successful the first Genesis Block is. Had it been the Bitcoin Genesis block which was created by Satoshi Nakamoto had a little flaw in terms of security or storing data, the whole concept of Cryptocurrency and blockchain would have been a total disaster, as every block in one way or the other is a copy of the Bitcoin Genesis block.
Thank you Professor @awesononso, for the amazing lesson