I may not fully understand the genesis file.

  1. Why is there a nonce and mixHash value in the file if nothing is being mined?
  2. It was my impression the genesis file is used to bootstrap block 0, then that's it. If that's the case, why does these values exist at all?
  3. Where can I find the mainnet genesis file in geth? What is the filepath?

First, you should check this.

  • Why is there a nonce and mixHash value in the file if nothing is being mined?

Because we need to start from somewhere. The genesis file is a description if the chain before block 0. THis information are used by block 0 to start.

  • It was my impression the genesis file is used to bootstrap block 0, then that's it. If that's the case, why does these values exist at all?

basically same answer as above :)

  • Where can I find the mainnet genesis file in geth? What is the filepath?

It is different on every distribution. Need more details.

  • "Because we need to start from somewhere. The genesis file is a description if the chain before block 0. THis information are used by block 0 to start." So it's to make block 0 look like any other block, because it needs those values just like any other block does? If that's the case, then there's no validation that those values actually work in terms of the Ethash algorithm, right? It seems you can put anything there. – AlwaysQuestioning Jan 28 at 14:00
  • Can you explain the following: Where is the mainnet genesis file in Geth? Any recent version will do If EVERYTHING is the same in my mainnet genesis file except I have an empty alloc {} section, how does my chain know what transactions take place in block 0? This is important: Does the mainnet genesis.json have the alloc {} section filled out, and it matches exactly the genesis transactions shown on block 0 of Ethereum? – AlwaysQuestioning Jan 28 at 14:03
  • Could not find it by myself, no time to look on internet. If there is an allocated address in the genesis file, there won't be any transaction in block 0. Because this "virtually" already happened (tx from block 1000 are not in block 1001 anymore, does not make sense) – Andromelus Jan 29 at 1:21

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