Today’s Bitcoin users have a wide range of wallets at their disposal. However, at the time of the creation of Bitcoin, there was not much choice. Actually, there was only one wallet that was designed by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the network. Let’s go back in time to learn about the history of the first bitcoin wallet that served the community for years. I hope you will enjoy this time travel and for some it will be a nostalgic memory, during which a tear of emotion will spin in many eyes….
Bitcoin-Qt – the first Bitcoin wallet
The first bitcoin wallet was a full client. This meant having to download the entire blockchain to synchronize with the network. Since there were not too many transactions on the Bitcoin network at the beginning, this was not a major problem. In 2012, Vitalik Buterin leaned over Bitcoin-Qt and commented on the wallet with such words:
Since this is a full node, the client needs to retrieve the entire (currently 6 gigabyte) chain of blocks to run, which can take up to a few days after the client first starts up, and from a few minutes to an hour each time you run the client later, if you don’t leave it in operation at all times.
Recall that currently the blockchain size of BTC is close to 250 GB. As you can see, from 6GB to 250GB means a huge increase compared to the year in which the network started.
Satoshi began working on the first Bitcoin wallet in parallel with the development of the Bitcoin protocol, and the Bitcoin-Qt wallet was released in February 2009. The Qt wallet’s private keys were stored in a desktop user file entitled “wallet.dat”. This was a problematic issue for many and a bane to those who could accidentally delete this folder for years. On top of that, malicious software had a harmful effect, which aimed at this folder, sometimes leading to the unfortunate loss of BTC.
However, Satoshi’s wallet was not inherently dangerous. In fact, given that there was an option to create a fully encrypted backup, Qt was a highly secure wallet with optimal configuration.
Source code of the first bitcoin wallet and the beginnings of the mining
If you went into bitcoin before 2014 you will remember your first installation of bitcoin-Qt.
It is believed that the first version of the Bitcoin-Qt 0.1 wallet was lost by the time Hal Finney found its source code on one of his computers in 2012. Are you curious to know how Bitcoin’s first wallet worked? You can download it and run it on a PC. The readme.txt Satoshi file included with the software explains:
To support the network by launching a node, select: “Options-> Generate coins” and keep the program open or minimized. It works with a priority of inactivity when no other program uses the processor. Your computer will solve a very difficult calculation problem that is used in transaction blocks. The time it takes to generate a block changes every time, but it can take several days or months, depending on the speed of your computer and the competition on the network.
This is not a calculation that must start from the beginning if you stop it and restart it. The solution can be found at any time when you start it. As a reward for network support, you will receive coins if you manage to generate a block.
Although the functionality was limited, the Qt wallet had some advanced features. In addition to sending and receiving coins and attaching address books, it enabled the user to digitally sign the transaction, which proves that we were the owner of a specific public key.
Bitcoin core wallet
Starting with version 0.9.0, the Bitcoin-Qt wallet has become known as the Bitcoin Core wallet, as proposed by Gavin Andresen, who said that “the core of bitcoin” sounds strong and rocky, and this is what is expected of something that is supposed to be the backbone of the network.
Today, Bitcoin users have access to a number of user-friendly wallets. However, Bitcoin Core is still growing. It can be downloaded from Bitcoin.org.
The survival of Bitcoin Core is due to the creators and creators of Bitcoin, who have devoted countless hours to perfecting it over the past 10 years.