First Bitcoin transaction
Satoshi Nakamoto, Hal Finney
first first
Unknown ()

The first Bitcoin transaction took place on 12 January 2009, just three days after the first open-source Bitcoin client was released online. Bitcoin's creator, known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, transferred 10 bitcoins to Hal Finney, an American software developer. The transaction was a test to see if the client worked, and that the "blockchain" distributed ledger updated correctly.

Nakamoto and Finney were both active members of a cryptography-focused mailing list called "Cypherpunks", whose members had been working on digital currencies for around a decade. In 2004, Hal Finney had shared a cryptocurrency concept called Reusable Proof of Work, which included many of the ideas that Nakamoto would refine for Bitcoin. Nakamoto had shared early drafts of the Bitcoin white paper (published on 18 August 2008) as well as beta versions of the Bitcoin client with Finney and influential Cypherpunk members Wei Dei, Adam Back and Nick Szabo.

Finney downloaded the first public release of the Bitcoin client on 9 January 2009 and took part in several early tests of the system, this transaction included. The transaction was recorded in block number 170, with a time stamp of 2009-01-11 22:30:25 EST (or 2009-01-12 03:30:25 UTC). This 10 BTC transaction was the only one recorded in that block.

During the first year following the launch of Bitcoin blockchain there were no other transactions other than this one. It was not until a year later, in January 2010, that other users started making transactions and adding to the ledger.