Bitcoin (BTC) is celebrating its birthday today. The world’s most prominent crypto was launched exactly 13 years ago, on January 3rd, 2009.
The Genesis Block, the first bitcoin block ever mined, was created at 08:15 p.m. UTC by anonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. Over the course of these 13 years, the mysterious Bitcoin founder has become a legend, yet they have never revealed their identity.
In the meantime, the Genesis Block became the prototype for all future blocks of the Bitcoin blockchain. This also marks the birth of Bitcoin, and by extension, the entire cryptocurrency space.
13 years on and the Bitcoin blockchain consists of 716,989 Bitcoin blocks, with 18,918,625.00 bitcoins having been mined which accounts for more than 90% of the token’s maximum supply of 21 million. However, this number is constantly changing as a new bitcoin block is created approximately once every 10 minutes.
The first-ever Bitcoin block generated a 50 BTC reward for contributing to the network and creating blocks.
Today’s Bitcoin miners are rewarded with only 6.25 bitcoins for adding a new block to the chain. This is because of bitcoin halving which happens every 4 years, or every 210,000 blocks to be more precise. By the year 2140, the block reward will become 0 when the last bitcoin has been mined.
The Genesis block also came with a hidden message inscribed in its code, which stated “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
The message refers to the main headline of “The Times” newspaper of that January 3rd, 2009. It is considered to be both the timestamp for the Genesis Block, and also as the hint towards the failure of the global financial system, which lead to the birth of the decentralized alternative.
Bitcoin has come the long way since its birth.
The world’s first cryptocurrency has established itself as the dominant leader of the crypto space. Its accomplishments in decentralized finance are numerous and glittering, having topped an all-time high of $69,044.77 in November 2021, attracted billions of dollars of institutional money, become a recognized investment asset during an economically tightening pandemic, and even receiving the status of “legal tender” in El Salvador.
On the Flipside
- Although it was created as an alternative to the pre-existing centralized financial systems, 13 years later Bitcoin has itself become vulnerable to centralization risks as a growing amount of bitcoin’s supply is held in the hands of a small minority.
Why You Should Care
Bitcoin is the flagship crypto of the decentralized space, whose movements strongly impact the price direction of the entire cryptocurrency market.