Satoshi Nakamoto Thanked on Bitcoin’s Genesis Block 10th Anniversary with The Times Advert

News and Analysis

Cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has placed an advertisement on the front page of January 3rd, 2019 edition of The Times, in which it thanks Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. This happened exactly ten years to the day after Satoshi Nakamoto quoted the front page of the same publication in Bitcoin’s Genesis (#0).

The advertisement features the block hash and message that reads “w#\/ ThanksSatoshi /BTC.COM/��mm,���CA4Z_IGQ�~YVM܈H����{�|�|###B#b)#�”

The message symbolizes 10 years of Bitcoin since the first (genesis) block was mined on January 3, 2009.

Bitcoin’s white paper was published on October 31, 2008, and it represents a constitution of sorts for Satoshi Nakamoto’s revolutionary monetary system – a rejection of the centralized policies of the fiat system in favor of the decentralized processes of a cryptographically secured and mathematically verifiable digital system – and its intrinsic currency.

Two months later, at 18:15 UTC on January 3, 2009, Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined at 18:15 UTC with Satoshi’s intent being covertly coded – embedded in the hexadecimal code on the genesis block’s coinbase, the message, after being decoded, reads as follows: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

As the article details, Alistair Darling, the U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, was debating a second bailout for U.K. banks. This capital infusion would come nearly a year after the government flushed the same banks in an attempt to ballast credit flow and stanch impending economic downturn, something the United States did for its own banks in October of 2008.

Deflationary Bitcoin was an answer to some problems of the traditional fiat money system, and as Satoshi himself wrote in an e-mail discussing various aspects of the cryptocurrency, “it’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”

In a later e-mail, after the blockchain already went live, Satoshi explained:

You could say coins are issued by the majority. They are issued in a limited, predetermined amount. […]

[I]ndeed there is nobody to act as central bank or federal reserve to adjust the money supply as the population of users grows. That would have required a trusted party to determine the value, because I don’t know a way for software to know the real world value of things. If there was some clever way, or if we wanted to trust someone to actively manage the money supply to peg it to something, the rules could have been programmed for that.

In this sense, it’s more typical of a precious metal. Instead of the supply changing to keep the value the same, the supply is predetermined and the value changes. As the number of users grows, the value per coin increases. It has the potential for a positive feedback loop; as users increase, the value goes up, which could attract more users to take advantage of the increasing value.


Bitcoin’s genesis block received 50 BTC as reward as well as additional 16 BTC over time. The first mining reward is unspendable due to the codebase, which means that even if Satoshi Nakamoto were to emerge, he would not be able to spend these coins.

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