Is the genesis block reward forever unspendable?

  • I believe this is not a duplicate. The other question asks why it is unspendable. This questions asks if that is changeable.
    – Zamicol
    Jan 29, 2015 at 23:48
  • I might be biased, since I wrote the original question, but I think that this question is a subset of the question I wrote.
    – Nick ODell
    Jan 30, 2015 at 2:56

1 Answer 1


There is no technical constraint causing the genesis block's reward to be unspendable forever.

It is a bug that has now become the accepted standard. In the future the genesis block reward could be spent but clients must be updated to fix this bug or they will reject blocks containing a valid input referring to this transaction (4a5e1e4baab89f3a32518a88c31bc87f618f76673e2cc77ab2127b7afdeda33b).

Other clients outside of bitcoind, like btcd, also mimic this bug so they don't risk a fork if Satoshi ever decided to spend these coins. Seeing that Satoshi isn't around much fixing this bug isn't exactly a priority and there is a good chance that this might never be "fixed".

  • 6
    It may or may not be considered a bug, but it is part of the consensus rules now, effectively. Software can be changed to alter this, but with a software change we could also make Bitcoin a frontend for Paypal - so it's not a very interesting argument. Effectively, every full validation node needs to be modified, at the same time simultaneously, or we'd be giving Satoshi a means to instantly fork the network. Changes like this are called "hard forks", and only done when there is very pervasive consensus that it is needed. Jan 28, 2015 at 4:21

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