- Bitcoin was founded 13 years ago and there are several facts that are shrouded in mystery.
- A popular misconception about the launch of the network are that the block reward for the genesis block was spendable but this is not the case.
- Since its launch, Bitcoin has achieved fame with a country using it as legal tender and several public companies holding it on their balance sheets.
Bitcoin was born on the 3rd of January 2009, making it a defiant teenager. Since then, the network has tentatively prodded its way through life but there are some misconceptions that ought to be cleared for individuals to gain a better understanding.
Bitcoin’s Launch Misconceptions
On the historic day of Bitcoin’s launch anniversary, Pete Rizzo, a veteran Bitcoin historian took to Twitter to clear the air on some circumstances around the network’s launch. According to Rizzo, it is easy for individuals to think that the first Bitcoin block reward was spendable like other block rewards. However, this was not the case as Satoshi made the 50 BTC reward unspendable.
Rizzo goes on to state another fact that left Bitcoin enthusiasts dazed. “The Genesis Block didn’t have a reward,” he wrote. “Most block explorers say the Genesis block created 50 BTC, but these aren’t included in the blockchain. It’s more accurate to say the Genesis Block created all the 21 million bitcoins now being released in blocks.”
Another popular misconception was that the Bitcoin software was released to the public on January 3rd, 2009. However, this was not the case as it took six days for the software to be accessible to new miners.
While there are arguments that the famous Times headline message in the first block was Satoshi’s displeasure over the current financial system, Rizzo thinks that there could be another meaning. He claims that it could be a timestamp for proof pof transparency and “this is how we know it was mined after this point in time (not before).”
Rizzo further notes that Satoshi Nakamoto did not “pre-mine” Bitcoin by reserving a certain amount of Bitcoins for himself. Instead, he had to spend computing power in the mining process like every other person. He adds that by mining the Genesis Block, Satoshi had stopped the occurrence of multiple genesis blocks and competing Bitcoins instead of just releasing the Bitcoins to the public.
Happy Birthday Bitcoin
As Bitcoin blossoms into its teenage years, investors are anticipating a growth spurt. One nation has already elevated the asset to become legal tender while others are deliberating the pros and cons. Individuals are increasingly turning to the asset class as the answer to rising inflation and to promote financial inclusivity.
Institutional investors are not being left out as they are matching retailers head on in terms of adoption. At thirteen, experts believe the ecosystem has matured to have its own pure-play Bitcoin ETF which will be a major driver for more capital inflows.
Since its launch, upgrades to the network have been few and far between. The network successfully completed the Taproot upgrade that improved the network’s security and privacy. Four years ago, Bitcoin had the iconic Segregated Witness upgrade that caused a rift amongst the network’s adherents. The asset currently trades at $46,000 which is a momentous leap from the start of the last decade where it traded at less than a dollar.