Bitcoin Q&A: Genesis block and coinbase transactions

How were the first bitcoins created? Who was mining in those early days? What is a coinbase transaction and how do miners integrate it within each block?

Genesis block code:

More on coinbase transactions:

Note: “Coinbase” transactions should not be confused with the centralised California-based exchange, Coinbase Inc.

These questions are from the MOOC 9.2 session, which took place on February 23rd 2018. Andreas is a teaching fellow with the University of Nicosia. The first course in their Master of Science in Digital Currency degree, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, is offered for free as an open enrollment MOOC course to anyone interested in learning about the fundamental principles.

If you want early-access to talks and a chance to participate in the monthly live Q&As with Andreas, become a patron:

Consensus Algorithms, Blockchain Technology, and Bitcoin –
Advanced Bitcoin Scripting Part 1: Transactions and Multisig –
What is Consensus: Rules without Rulers –
Forkology: A Study of Forks for Newbies –
Bitcoin: Where the Laws of Mathematics Prevail –
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? –
Software distribution security –
What is mining? –
Miners, pools, and consensus –
The mining process –
Nonces, mining, and quantum computing –
The rules of Bitcoin (part 1) –
The rules of Bitcoin (part 2) –
Rules versus rulers –
The value of proof-of-work –
Could a state-sponsored 51% attack work? –
Honest nodes and consensus –
Spam transactions and Child Pays For Parent (CPFP) –
Is Bitcoin a democracy? –
Decentralized power, leaderless governance –
Scaling, trust, and trade-offs –
What is the role of nodes? –
Why running a node is important –
Lightning, full nodes, and miners –
Running nodes and payment channels –
What happens during a fork? –
SegWit adoption –
Spam transactions and Child Pays For Parent (CPFP) –
Energy consumption –
Solar energy and mining in space –
Bitmain and ASICBoost allegations –

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and respected figures in bitcoin.

Follow on Twitter: @aantonop

He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters.





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Music: “Unbounded” by Orfan (
Outro Graphics: Phneep (
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