Is That You, Satoshi? — 119 BTC Worth $7 Million Moves After Over a Decade

04.07.2024 / Payment system news

A Bitcoin wallet that has been dormant for over 12 years has suddenly become active, sparking widespread speculation within the cryptocurrency community.

The wallet, containing 119 BTC valued at approximately $7 million, moved its assets on Thursday, according to Whale Alert, a service that tracks and reports large cryptocurrency transactions.

“A dormant address containing 119 BTC (6,992,389 USD) has just been activated after 12.4 years” Whale Alert tweeted, igniting a flurry of discussions and theories. 

The latest movement of 119 BTC has drawn particular attention because of its significant age and the substantial increase in value since it was first acquired. Back in 2012, these 119 BTC were worth a mere $599. Now, with the surge in Bitcoin’s price, the same stash is up just over 11.6% million percentage in value.

The activation of this long-dormant wallet follows a similar event just a day earlier. On Wednesday, Whale Alert reported another inactive address containing 43 BTC (about $2.6 million) being reactivated after 10.4 years. 

On Tuesday, the service reported another dormant wallet containing 33.99 BTC, inactive since June 2011, which had been activated. The unknown owner moved assets worth over $2.1 million between two addresses. This transaction involved splitting the bitcoins into two portions, 30.66 BTC and 3.33 BTC, with minimal transaction fees of $1.13 and $0.94, respectively. 

Interestingly, for this particular wallet, the intrigue deepened, considering the bitcoins were part of a 50 BTC block reward received by a miner on July 16, 2010. At that time, Bitcoin was valued significantly below $1. These assets have since been split and moved between various wallets, with sporadic minor transactions noted, potentially as part of “dusting attacks” aimed at de-anonymizing the owner.

Notably, while not uncommon, these occurrences have become a hot topic, especially since movements of early-era bitcoins often lead to speculation about their origin and owner, with some wondering if they might be linked to Bitcoin’s mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. While no concrete evidence supports this theory, the timing and magnitude of these movements invariably pique interest.

That said, a report by Chainalysis in April highlighted that 1.75 million Bitcoin wallets have been inactive for over 10 years, holding nearly 1.8 million BTC, which accounts for 8.5% of the total supply. As per the firm, this count excludes approximately 30,000 addresses believed to be associated with Nakamoto.