The Story of Satoshi’s First Ever Bitcoin Transaction

The first transaction ever sent on the Bitcoin blockchain was sent 12 years ago, on January 12, 2009 from the cryptocurrency’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto to long-time cryptographer and cypherpunk Hal Finney.

In block 170 of the cryptocurrency’s network, Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 BTC to Hal Finney, with a transaction cost of 0 BTC. At the time, it’s worth noting, blockspace was completely unused and the cryptocurrency was virtually worthless.

This is notably the only transaction known to have been sent by Satoshi Nakamoto as the pseudonymous creator of the cryptocurrency was well-known for his privacy practices, and seems to have disappeared from the crypto space in late 2010.

The now famous transaction was made after Hal Finney downloaded the bitcoin software on the day it was released. The funds moved at the time were worth next to nothing, but the transaction itself proved BTC network worked and was secure.

Hal Finney, it’s worth noting, was one of the first to adopt the flagship cryptocurrency and has been credited with making the first-ever bitcoin related tweet, when on January 11, 2009 he tweeted out he was “running bitcoin,” meaning he was running the bitcoin software.

The first bitcoin transaction was made as a test, and according to Finney himself what followed was an email conversation in which the cypherpunk described bugs to Bitcoin’s creator so he could fix them.

On the Bitcointalk forum, Finney wrote:

When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away. I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run bitcoin. I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them.




At the time, block rewards were 50 BTC per block and mining difficulty was 1, which means that it was possible to mine the cryptocurrency using a CPU. Bitcoin has since gotten monetary value and is now trading at $35,600 according to CryptoCompare. The 10 BTC Satoshi sent Hal Finney are now worth $356,000.

It’s worth noting that up until block 170 no transactions were sent, with the miner of those blocks – presumably Satoshi Nakamoto himself – collecting the coinbase rewards in different addresses.

Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney

Finney is believed by some to be Satoshi Nakamoto himself. Not only was he the first person to ever receive a BTC transaction and to make the first public tweet about the flagship cryptocurrency, but he also lived close to Dorian Nakamoto, a Japanese-American man Newsweek quoted as saying he was “no longer involved in that [Bitcoin] and I cannot discuss it.”

Dorian Nakamoto at the time said that due to work contract stipulations he could not discuss any past projects. He later denied Newsweek’s report saying he “did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin.”

To some, Finney used Dorian as an inspirational pseudonym. Moreover, Finney retired from the PGP Corporation in early 2011, while Satoshi Nakamoto retired in April of that year. Writing to Gavin Andresen, Nakamoto wrote: “I wish you wouldn’t keep talking about me as a mysterious shadowy figure, the press just turns that into a pirate currency angle.”

Satoshi instead suggested Andresen should discuss the open-source project and “give more credit to your dev contributors, it helps motivate them.” After the developers replied saying he had been invited to speak at an event connect with the CIA, Nakamoto never wrote back.

Finney passed away in 2014, as a result of complications of ALS. He was cryopreserved by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

Featured image via Pixabay.

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