79be667ef9dcbbac55a06295ce870b07029bfcdb2dce28d959f2815b16f81798,483ada7726a3c4655da4fbfc0e1108a8fd17b448a68554199c47d08ffb10d4b8 seems very random to me. I see how this point is on the curve, but how exactly was this specific point chosen to be the base point? Could other base points have worked?


Since the secp256k1 curve order is prime, every point on the curve except the point at infinity is a generator.

Nothing is known about how the designers of the curve chose this specific generator.

However, there is one tell-tale sign that hints about its construction. When the chosen generator G is multiplied by 1/2 (i.e. multiplied by the multiplicative inverse of 2 modulo the curve order), the resulting X coordinate is an exceptionally low number. This very likely means that G was created by picking that X, finding a corresponding Y on the curve, and then doubling the resulting point.

  • Can you share this low number X? – k06a Jan 23 '18 at 9:12
  • 1
    G/2 = (0x3b78ce563f89a0ed9414f5aa28ad0d96d6795f9c63, 0xc0c686408d517dfd67c2367651380d00d126e4229631fd03f8ff35eef1a61e3c). – Pieter Wuille Jan 23 '18 at 15:01

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