Genesis block is a term used to describe the first data “block” mined on a blockchain network and is also known as Block 0 in blockchain parlance. Since a blockchain comprises many blocks of transaction data used to store transaction information on the blockchain, the genesis block acts as the foundation of all subsequent blocks that are arranged in layers, with each block linked to the previous one.
Used by Bitcoin’s developer and founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, to describe the network’s first block back in 2009, the genesis block forms the template for all other blocks to follow in a blockchain. Acting as the starting point of a blockchain, the genesis block contains the entire architecture for the subsequent blocks to adopt and takes the maximum time to be mined in a blockchain.
Technically, a genesis block differs from all other blocks since it has its hash value set to 0, indicating that no data was processed or available before the genesis block. For miners, the genesis block offers authenticity and creates trust in the network, without which all blocks generated later in the blockchain would be invalid or untrustworthy.