block – Explanation of “Timestamp Server” section in original bitcoin paper

I’m trying to understand the “Timestamp Server” section in the original bitcoin paper. It feels overly short for someone without an understanding of cryptography.

Is it saying?

  1. A block includes:
    1. The block itself
    2. The time the block was created
    3. A hash of the previous block
  2. When a new block is created:
    1. This block includes the current time and a hash of the previous block
    2. The hash of this new block is broadcasted to all nodes

There is little information online trying to research the concept of “timestamp server”.
Apologies if this is a silly question. As a software developer I’m trying to understand how this works on a granular level.


From the original paper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.

3. Timestamp Server
The solution we propose begins with a timestamp server. A timestamp server works by taking a
hash of a block of items to be timestamped and widely publishing the hash, such as in a
newspaper or Usenet post [2-5]. The timestamp proves that the data must have existed at the
time, obviously, in order to get into the hash. Each timestamp includes the previous timestamp in
its hash, forming a chain, with each additional timestamp reinforcing the ones before it.

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