Bitcoin’s ‘genesis’ block of transaction was created 15 years ago

The anniversary comes amid rampant speculation about a US spot bitcoin ETF approval

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Dall-e and Adobe Stock modified by Blockworks

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“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”

That was the message contained in bitcoin’s first-ever transaction block on Jan. 3, 2009. Today marks the 15th anniversary of that event.

The so-called “genesis” block featured what was then a 50 bitcoin (BTC) block subsidy — worth a whopping $2.1 million at today’s prices — and the message above, referring to the economic turbulence of the day when bitcoin went live. 

Months earlier, bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, first published the protocol’s white paper, which outlined a system for digital money that didn’t rely on a trusted central administrator. The white paper’s 15th anniversary was observed last October, as Blockworks previously reported. 

Nakamoto played a central role in overseeing the protocol’s progress in its early years, but by 2010 had largely faded from public view

As of the time of writing, the bitcoin network has processed 824,210 blocks, each occurring roughly — though not precisely — every ten minutes. 

The anniversary comes during an auspicious time in bitcoin’s history. 

The price is hovering above $40,000 — a far cry from the days before bitcoin ever traded against the dollar. Bitcoin has become more deeply enmeshed in the global financial system, a state of affairs perhaps reflected best in the push by major institutions like BlackRock and Fidelity to create exchange-traded products that hold BTC. 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission appears poised to potentially approve such a product, though today’s price declines reflect what may be lingering anxieties around those prospects.


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