The Genesis Block

The term genesis block refers to the first block of the Blockchain. As the starting block, its pointer to the previous block in the chain is uniquely absent, and due to a software quirk its block reward is also uniquely un-spendable.

The coinbase of the genesis block contains the following quote:

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

This quote refers to a Reuters article in the Financial Times that describes economic issues related to the financial crisis. Some have taken the selection of this quote as political commentary on the ideology of the Bitcoin software or as a criticism of fractional reserve banking or fiat currency, however that has never been directly confirmed.

A likely theory for the inclusion of a quote is to provide an easily verifiable proof as to the absence of a pre-mine, in which Satoshi could have mined the block at a past date and had an advantage over the network.