Bitcoin Wallet With $24M From Satoshi Era Suddenly Activates After 10.5 Years
A bitcoin wallet that has been idle since the time of Satoshi Nakamoto has been suddenly activated after nearly 11 years.
The wallet, which contains 500 BTC, dates back to around the time that Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, was last active on the Internet.
Since it was last used sometime in 2010, the cache has risen sharply in value from $8,400 to more than $23.67 million, thanks to the soaring price of bitcoin.
Crypto-tracking service Whale Alert reported the transaction on Dec. 29. Online records show a transfer of 165.33 BTC, or $7.78 million, was made from the wallet to an unknown address on Wednesday.
While this wallet action might be considered lightweight in whale terms, similar transactions have raised fears of a price dump in the past.
Dormant wallets containing huge amounts of bitcoin have sporadically awakened in recent years, raising speculation that Nakamoto might be cashing out.
Cryptocurrency lovers have particular interest in coins mined before the enigmatic bitcoin founder went off the radar on Dec. 12, 2010. The coins are now referred to as the Satoshi Era Bitcoins.
The interest arises from a belief, and perhaps an expectation, that wallets created during this period belong to Satoshi Nakamoto, or close associates.
Bitcoin founder holds over one million BTC
Estimates suggest Nakamoto owns a total 1,125,150 BTC, with an unspent value of around $53.44 billion at existing exchange rates.
There are hundreds of bitcoin wallet addresses that have been inactive in the last decade, according to data from BitInfoCharts.
The most valuable dormant wallet contains about 80,000 BTC, worth more than $3.7 billion at current market prices, it says.
Altogether, roughly $9.8 billion worth of bitcoin is locked in the top five wallets that have not been opened in about 10 years.
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