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Author Topic: What would you pay for the Genesis Block?  (Read 2551 times)
cbeast
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April 02, 2012, 03:04:16 PM
 #1

I keep reading that "bitcoin is worthless at its core" but that got me to thinking about Bitcoin's actual first block. Though I'm sure it's not for sale and less sure that the private key even still exists. But if it does, what is it worth?

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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Pieter Wuille
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April 02, 2012, 03:05:05 PM
 #2

It may have huge historical value, but note that the coinbase from the genesis block can actually not be spent.

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April 02, 2012, 03:43:54 PM
 #3

It may have huge historical value, but note that the coinbase from the genesis block can actually not be spent.

Ehh, why?

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April 02, 2012, 03:45:32 PM
 #4

It may have huge historical value, but note that the coinbase from the genesis block can actually not be spent.

Ehh, why?
Is it because it would be self-referencing?

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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April 02, 2012, 03:45:41 PM
 #5

When a new node starts up, it initializes its block database with the genesis block, and then start synchronizing. However, it does not add the coinbase transaction from the genesis block to the transaction database. Hence, no client has that transaction in its database, and no node will consider spending it valid.

This may have been intentional by Satoshi, or a bug, but we certainly can't change it now.

aka sipa, core dev team

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April 02, 2012, 03:47:43 PM
 #6

It may have huge historical value, but note that the coinbase from the genesis block can actually not be spent.

Ehh, why?

Quote from: en.bitcoin.it
The first 50BTC block reward went to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa, though this reward can't be spent due to a quirk in the way that the genesis block is expressed in the code (this may have been intentional).

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Genesis_block

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April 02, 2012, 04:29:59 PM
 #7

And that's when not even we can change the genesis block, that banks start thinking "oh shi-"
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April 02, 2012, 05:03:22 PM
 #8

And that's when not even we can change the genesis block, that banks start thinking "oh shi-"
At first I was thinking that Bitcoin was like the Frankenstein monster and the pundits were angry villagers. Now I think of Bitcoin as Godzilla and the pundits are little soldiers scrambling for cover.

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April 02, 2012, 06:04:51 PM
 #9

When a new node starts up, it initializes its block database with the genesis block, and then start synchronizing. However, it does not add the coinbase transaction from the genesis block to the transaction database. Hence, no client has that transaction in its database, and no node will consider spending it valid.

This may have been intentional by Satoshi, or a bug, but we certainly can't change it now.

Wow, learn something every day.

So is this a client implementation quirk or a protocol quirk? Seems like you are saying it is protocol level since you say we can't change it, but it seems to me like "initializing it's block database" is a client specific thing. Obviously you need 50%+ mining power to have made that change and it seems like, uh, not a priority at all.

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April 02, 2012, 07:49:10 PM
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It may have huge historical value, but note that the coinbase from the genesis block can actually not be spent.
That is actually quite cool, in a "historically significant" sense.

Even though the generated coins can't be spent, Satoshi could auction the private key.
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April 02, 2012, 07:51:23 PM
 #11

When a new node starts up, it initializes its block database with the genesis block, and then start synchronizing. However, it does not add the coinbase transaction from the genesis block to the transaction database. Hence, no client has that transaction in its database, and no node will consider spending it valid.

This may have been intentional by Satoshi, or a bug, but we certainly can't change it now.

Wow, learn something every day.

So is this a client implementation quirk or a protocol quirk? Seems like you are saying it is protocol level since you say we can't change it, but it seems to me like "initializing it's block database" is a client specific thing. Obviously you need 50%+ mining power to have made that change and it seems like, uh, not a priority at all.

Well, as I understand it, it can be changed at client level. So if developers change it in future clients, and people start using those clients, the genesis block will become usable.

However, I highly doubt this will be implemented to the client anytime soon, and even if it is implemented, people will upgrade their clients very slowly.

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April 02, 2012, 10:09:07 PM
 #12

Learn something new every day.

Okay.  So how much would you pay for the first spendable coins?

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April 02, 2012, 10:15:09 PM
 #13

btw I thought there were no 50 bitcoins in the genesis block

Block #0

http://blockchain.info/block-index/1

50 BTC coinbase tx to 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa (subsequently 3.54297866 BTC have been transfered to this address likely for "good luck).
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April 02, 2012, 10:27:37 PM
 #14

btw I thought there were no 50 bitcoins in the genesis block

Block #0

http://blockchain.info/block-index/1

50 BTC coinbase tx to 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa (subsequently 3.54297866 BTC have been transfered to this address likely for "good luck).
Haha 28 inputs.

http://blockchain.info/address/1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa

Pieter Wuille
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April 03, 2012, 01:21:43 AM
 #15

You can see it as an implementation error/feature, but the protocol was (and still is, largely) defined by how the reference client behaves.

The only way to change it is if *all* users of Bitcoin agree - not just 51% and not just miners. Imagine we pushed a new version of the client with a spendable genesis block. Assume 70% of miners upgrade, and suddenly Satoshi reappears and spends the genesis block. Those 70% would start building a chain with the spend included, but older miners and nodes would not accept this chain, to them it would be invalid. The result would be a permanent fork, with 30% of mining power behind it. People using old clients would notice a decreased block speed (and some other security measures would get triggered), but apart from that, they keep living in their own little world. Such a permanently splitted blochchain is a recipe for disaster: every old coin that existed before the split can be spent once on each side of the fork...

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April 03, 2012, 05:03:14 AM
 #16

Here is the WHOIS on the IP on the most recent transaction (payment 0.5BTC) to 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa :

 ( transaction 9dfe998053c3d2659a856a5453e308db1cfd18349d3c3af484a154fd693aaf9c )


IP address:                     129.15.161.95
Reverse DNS:                    d-ip-129-15-161-95.oulan.ou.edu.
Reverse DNS authenticity:       [Verified]
ASN:                            25776
ASN Name:                       UNIV-OF-OKLAHOMA
IP range connectivity:          7
Registrar (per ASN):            ARIN
Country (per IP registrar):     US [United States]
Country Currency:               USD [United States Dollars]
Country IP Range:               129.14.0.0 to 129.15.255.255
Country fraud profile:          Normal
City (per outside source):      Unknown
Country (per outside source):   -- []
Private (internal) IP?          No
IP address registrar:           whois.arin.net
Known Proxy?                    No

(Edit:  date of transaction March 27, 2012)
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Bitcoin: An Idea Worth Spending


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April 03, 2012, 05:38:17 AM
 #17

The 0.0424242 BTC is what I contributed for luck.

~Bruno~
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April 03, 2012, 06:37:57 AM
 #18

The 0.0424242 BTC is what I contributed for luck.

~Bruno~


Nah, you will be cursed forever for being too cheap. If I recall correctly, the number was more like 424242.4242 was it not?
phelix
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April 03, 2012, 09:51:17 AM
 #19

The 0.0424242 BTC is what I contributed for luck.

~Bruno~


Nah, you will be cursed forever for being too cheap. If I recall correctly, the number was more like 424242.4242 was it not?

2042: 0.0424242 BTC  ^= 424242.4242 USD

 Grin


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