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Bitcoin Genesis Block: Why the Unspendable Satoshi’s Idea

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Written by   9
5 months ago
Topics: Crypto, Cryptocurrency, BTC, BCH, Bitcoin, ...

Bitcoin Genesis Block: Why the Unspendable Satoshi’s Idea.

Is the Bitcoin Genesis Block spendable? Why or Why Not?

This is the question we at Concave decided to ask our community members, not only to get a lot of different beliefs and explanations but also to gauge how Satoshi’s idea was interpreted by the general crypto community.

If you’re intrigued by this concept or just want the social experiment element of it, then read below for the answers we got.


Can you spend the Genesis Block on Bitcoin? Why or Why Not?

The first person we asked was Concavian NotoriousCastel (∞)#3733, who answered:

I don’t think so. Its function is as essential as the need to create a foundation before building a house since it is a “fountain” block.

No matter which chain you select, if you look at its history, you will always find its own genesis block at the root of that crypto-currency.

A genesis block also serves to guarantee communication between two nodes. This is because two nodes can only be matched if they have the same genesis block.

Otherwise, the two nodes would be incompatible. On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that each node has its own initial block, creating a huge network in which a genesis block of higher difficulty can never be replaced by one of lower difficulty.

Imagine for a moment a pyramid of blocks, at the top of which would be the genesis block presiding over the rest of the blocks.

No matter how many links you descended, they would all be anchored to their origin.

On the other hand, akerlof#8331 answered:

“Genesis block is the first sync point for a state of truth (the blockchain) and cannot be spent given a design decision by SN.

It’s the creation mechanism and the start of the lineage of all preceding blocks. How could one spend the genesis block if no tokens exist prior to its creation on chain?

I think that is why SN kept the first tx out of the chain and why it is hardcoded for nodes to sync to.”

These are two of the answers we decided to highlight in text, but here’s another view of the concept, this time in code and by the hand of Concavian zers#5962.

“01000000 — version

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 — prev block

3BA3EDFD7A7B12B27AC72C3E67768F617FC81BC3888A51323A9FB8AA4B1E5E4A — merkle root

29AB5F49 — timestamp

FFFF001D — bits

1DAC2B7C — nonce

01 — number of transactions

01000000 — version

01 — input

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000FFFFFFFF — prev output

4D — script length

04FFFF001D0104455468652054696D65732030332F4A616E2F32303039204368616E63656C6C6F72206F6E206272696E6B206F66207365636F6E64206261696C6F757420666F722062616E6B73 — scriptsig

FFFFFFFF — sequence

01 — outputs

00F2052A01000000–50 BTC

43 — pk_script length

4104678AFDB0FE5548271967F1A67130B7105CD6A828E03909A67962E0EA1F61DEB649F6BC3F4CEF38C4F35504E51EC112DE5C384DF7BA0B8D578A4C702B6BF11D5FAC — pk_script

00000000 — lock time

// Special case for the genesis block, skipping connection of its transactions

// (its coinbase is unspendable)

if (block.GetHash() == chainparams.GetConsensus().hashGenesisBlock) {

if (!fJustCheck)


return true;



What Does it Mean that the Genesis Block Cannot Be Spent? Why did Satoshi Do This Intentionally?

This was the follow-up question presented to the community.

We wanted to probe what the people from the Crypto economy perceived as the reason behind Satoshi’s intention.

Here are some answers worth reading, starting with the insight provided by Chev (∞) Uncle Cleetus#0001.

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

It was his legacy, the first block, only he had keys to it, and he vanished. He ensured the first block had one POF: himself.

Consensus would never be able to challenge the message, block, and monument it represented to him. The riot of all transactions leads to block one. He locked it, and he disappeared.

They can change everything but not the first block, the one he planted, engraved with the headline that represents the reason it needs to exist in the first place.”

“Burn it all but the message will forever exist that the birth of a decentralized distributed and public ledger, essentially as a mission statement. The world as it is right now is the reason the world cannot go on as it is now.”

“The decentralized vision was born from collective collaboration, but that first block represents the start. The chain begins as one and grows. The chain on block one was centralized.

Centralization was what resulted in “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”

This centralized block, represents the beginning of 1 (cannot decentralize from one) but also, its permeance now shows as the root that started the entire tree.

Every branch and ledger and node and consensus and difficulty change started because of and as a result of the centralized control. It’s almost like he didn’t want the centralized block to pollute the chain.”

“Kinda my first and best fit I think. If the first block is secured with a single point of failure, and that point of failure is removed, the genesis reference will never alter “

4valanche (∞)#0713 even decided to do a bit of research beforehand, so our efforts have proven to send people down rabbit holes, which is nice!

Here’s his take:

“This is how the Bitcoin client worked when Satoshi created it: The client maintains a block database and a transaction database.

When it finds that its block database is empty, it inserts the genesis block into its block database to get things started.

This block includes a transaction sending 50 BTC to 1A1z…, but the client does not insert this transaction into its transaction database.

So even though this transaction is part of the block chain, if the client sees a transaction spending this 50 BTC, it won’t be able to find the 50 BTC transaction in its transaction database, and the spending transaction will be rejected. In other words, the genesis block’s transaction isn’t considered to be a “real transaction” by the original Bitcoin client.

(Current versions of Bitcoin-Qt handle the block/transaction databases in a totally different way, so the genesis block’s transaction is now just a weird special case in the code.)

This could easily have been an oversight, or Satoshi could have intended this transaction to be unspendable. This quirk wasn’t discovered until after Satoshi disappeared, so no one had a chance to ask him. Not my work, found this online.

Very good explanation though.”

In conclusion, we’ll leave you with ΛMΛ8999#8760’s perception of it:

“The foundation stone is the first stone set in the construction.

All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure Let’s change a few words now: The foundation block is the first block set in the network.

All other blocks will be set in reference to this block, thus determining the position of the entire network. The Genesis Block was a sacrifice to the Bitcoin network”


We Love Probing the Community on Discord: Get People to Think!

This is just one of the many topics we send our community down into.

We love having more than just your old regular crypto community — we really like sending them down investigative and argumentative rabbit holes and making sure a lot of knowledge is shared so everyone can grow.

We’ll make sure to publish these things often so you guys can also participate in the discussion right here on Read.Cash

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Written by   9
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Topics: Crypto, Cryptocurrency, BTC, BCH, Bitcoin, ...
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