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If there were no bitcoins at first, how did a miner approve the transaction in the genesis block? I mean if there are no mined bitcoins (balances), how can a transaction take place? Also, I know that first reward of the PoW was 50 BTC which was transferred to Satoshi, and this 50 BTC is not spendable.

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    Note: there is no such thing as a 'balance' on the bitcoin network - that is a human level abstraction. At the network level, coins exist as UTXOs.
    – chytrik
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 19:35
  • Yes, I know that. However, in order to verify whether the coins exist as UTXO we need to do checksum of the previous transactions, and I called this process balance calculation. Am I wrong? Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 6:31
  • The word 'balance' implies there is an account/address that holds said balance. But no such thing exists on the bitcoin network at a technical level. People will often talk about 'balances' in relation to bitcoin as a means of simplification though. I wouldn't say it is 'wrong', but if you want to learn about how it works under the hood, then it isn't a useful way to think about things.
    – chytrik
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 1:02

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The coinbase transaction in each block creates new coins and as a result does not require any pre-existing balances. You can accept new coins in an address even if you have no balance. The fact that it was the genesis block is irrelevant as you can still mine any block without any transactions but the coinbase transaction.

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  • As I understand it, miners do not need a transaction. They can just solve the SHA-256 and take the reward. If no one triggers a node to solve problem how did first problem solved? Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 18:42
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    The first miner just solves an empty block and takes the reward. What do you mean by ‘trigger a node to solve a problem’ ?
    – Mike D
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 18:58
  • I mean the first hash generated to be solved, who triggered it. Actually, the question is how does a new hash generated and distributed to the nodes. I assume that a node get a new block to be solved and starts brute force it, when it finds the nonce, then, current node distributes the solved blocked to the others. However, how does new problem (hash) generated? My current idea is a few network servers get payload (transactions), then hash it and serve it to nodes; however, this idea is far away from decentralized solution. Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 6:28
  • A miner assembles a potential block by combining existing transactions that are not included in any block and attempts to “solve” it. They are free to include no transactions at all if there aren’t any and try to mine an empty block. The node does not receive the candidate block from anyone else they can construct it themselves. Is this what you meant? or do you mean where do they get the hash of the previous block? In that case the hash of the genesis block is hardcoded in the bitcoin source code.
    – Mike D
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 11:55
  • Actually, I cannot understand how the hash is about to be solved is generated. Who constructs and distributes same problem (hash) for all of the nodes. Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 8:55

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