If I check the getBlockTime RPC call, the description for the return type says:

i64 - estimated production time, as Unix timestamp (seconds since the Unix epoch)

Why is this not a u64? There can't be negative timestamps, can there?

1 Answer 1


That endpoint won't return a negative timestamp since Solana was launched in 2020, but normal unix timestamps could be negative if you want to represent a timestamp before 1970.

For example, try putting in a negative number at https://www.epochconverter.com/

  • Thank you! I knew negative timestamps existed in general unix time, but was curious why this was the case for solana where a block can't be produced in the past. If i understood your answer correctly, the reason Solana does it like that is basically just because it's the standard representation, correct?
    – Ahri
    Commented Jun 11 at 19:06
  • 1
    yeah pretty much
    – Jon C
    Commented Jun 11 at 19:07

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