Understanding The Genesis Block

Let there be blockchain!


In the beginning was the (compound) word and the (compound) word was… blockchain.


What are blocks in a blockchain?

As we have explained in a few of our previous articles, a block is a time-based grouping of transactions bundled together. In order for the next block to be created, the transactions from the previous block must be verified by miners before being added to the public ledger. A public ledger is simply a database or record of transactions that took place and are accessible to the public.

To brush up your knowledge and understanding please refer to these articles block-time & blocks.

What is a Genesis block?


(Courtesy of en.bitcoinwiki.org/wiki/Genesis_block)


The word Genesis can be best defined as “the origin or mode of formation of something.” With that being said, we can surmise that the Genesis block is the first block on any given blockchain. The Genesis block is sometimes referred to as “block 0” but is often referred to as “block 1”. Each block on a blockchain can trace its history back to the original Genesis block. By having this undisturbed line of transactional history, we can accurately analyze past events and verify the validity of certain versions of history.

Having a clearer picture of history should hopefully allow for a higher level of accountability and responsibility amongst those unseen powers which we so gravely seek it from (cough-cough). Blockchain, combined with a good consensus algorithm, allows for an honest record of history.

Conclusion


Genesis blocks are important because they serve as a building block for any given blockchain ledger. The exact same concept as when a concrete foundation must be laid out before a building can be built. Once the Genesis block is created the blockchain is live!


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