Genesis block

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A genesis block is the first block of a block chain. Modern versions of Bitcoin assign it block number 0, though older versions gave it number 1.

Main network genesis block

The block on Bitcoin Block Explorer

Here is a representation of the genesis block as it appeared in a comment in an old version of Bitcoin (line 1613). The first section defines exactly all of the variables necessary to recreate the block. The second section is the block in standard printblock format, which contains shortened versions of the data in the first section.

GetHash()      = 0x000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f
hashMerkleRoot = 0x4a5e1e4baab89f3a32518a88c31bc87f618f76673e2cc77ab2127b7afdeda33b[0].scriptSig     = 486604799 4 0x736B6E616220726F662074756F6C69616220646E6F63657320666F206B6E697262206E6F20726F6C6C65636E61684320393030322F6E614A2F33302073656D695420656854
txNew.vout[0].nValue       = 5000000000
txNew.vout[0].scriptPubKey = 0x5F1DF16B2B704C8A578D0BBAF74D385CDE12C11EE50455F3C438EF4C3FBCF649B6DE611FEAE06279A60939E028A8D65C10B73071A6F16719274855FEB0FD8A6704 OP_CHECKSIG
block.nVersion = 1
block.nTime    = 1231006505
block.nBits    = 0x1d00ffff
block.nNonce   = 2083236893
CBlock(hash=000000000019d6, ver=1, hashPrevBlock=00000000000000, hashMerkleRoot=4a5e1e, nTime=1231006505, nBits=1d00ffff, nNonce=2083236893, vtx=1)
  CTransaction(hash=4a5e1e, ver=1, vin.size=1, vout.size=1, nLockTime=0)
    CTxIn(COutPoint(000000, -1), coinbase 04ffff001d0104455468652054696d65732030332f4a616e2f32303039204368616e63656c6c6f72206f6e206272696e6b206f66207365636f6e64206261696c6f757420666f722062616e6b73)
    CTxOut(nValue=50.00000000, scriptPubKey=0x5F1DF16B2B704C8A578D0B)
  vMerkleTree: 4a5e1e

The coinbase parameter (seen above in hex) contains, along with the normal data, the following text[1]:

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

This was probably intended as proof that the block was created on or after January 3rd, 2009, as well as a comment on the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking.

The first 50BTC block reward went to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa and has yet to be spent (2011-03-04).