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

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


Dall-e and Adobe Stock modified by Blockworks


“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.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Unlocked by Template.png


With the spot ETH ETF approval, the institutions are coming. stETH - given its dominance in marketshare, existing liquid market structures, and highly desirable properties - is poised for institutions.


Launching cryptocurrencies the old fashioned way may soon make a return


Kraken and CertiK brought their beef to social media after Kraken said researchers exploited $3 million through a bug


NVIDIA’s historic run is only deepening the divide between mega-cap tech stocks and the rest of the market.


EIP-7702 was quickly adopted for the next Ethereum upgrade, but developers haven’t quite locked it down