One of the world’s largest bitcoin wallets suddenly became active earlier today. The wallet, which contains approximately one billion dollars’ worth of bitcoin (BTC), suddenly started moving coins to various exchanges.
The news set off a frenzy of speculation within the cryptocurrency community. Nobody knows who the wallet belongs to.
All we know is that the original wallet owned 111,114.62 BTC, which is currently valued at around $850 million.
As spotted by /u/sick_silk on Reddit, the owner of that bitcoin wallet has transferred $100 million of bitcoin to Bitfinex and Binance over the past 10 days.
You can check the wallet address yourself here:
Anyone can view a list of the highest-value bitcoin wallets on the network. In fact, we already know who most of the wallets belong to. The vast majority of high-value bitcoin wallets belong to exchanges.
A small number of rich bitcoin wallets, however, are totally unknown. Some believe they belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. Others claim they’re locked away forever. Some claim they’re linked to Mt. Gox or Silk Road or other sources.
The interesting thing about this billion dollar bitcoin wallet is that the last movements of the wallet took place on March 9, 2014. In other words, the wallet owner has left his coins untouched for nearly 4.5 years. As bitcoin rose to $20,000 in 2017, the wallet owner avoided the temptation to take profit from his enormous stash.
Another interesting thing about the wallet is that the 111,114 BTC are not stored in one single chunk. Instead, the stash has been divided over time to 60,000 coins, then to 30,000 coins, before dropping to 20,000 / 10,000 / 5,000 /500 and now 100 coins per chunk.
Reddit and other online communities are running wild with speculation over what it means.
Who Does the Billion Dollar Wallet Belong To?
Some believe it’s Dread Pirate Roberts of Silk Road fame. That seems unlikely, given that Ross “Dread Pirate Roberts” Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence in prison and Silk Road’s bitcoins were seized after the shutdown.
Others believe the coin movements are linked to Satoshi Nakamoto. Could it be linked to the Kleiman V. Wright court case currently making its way through the Florida legal system? The estate of Dave Kleiman claims Craig Wright owes the estate $10 billion in bitcoin.
It seems more likely, of course, that this is just a wallet associated with an exchange or a “whale”. A number of high-value wallets are publicly associated with exchanges, but there are still plenty of high-value wallets that belong to exchanges, even though the public doesn’t know about them.
Is an exchange accessing some bitcoins that were previously held in cold storage? Is a whale making moves on the market?
All credit for spotting the wallet movement goes to sick_silk on Reddit, who has been posting the saga on /r/bitcoin over the last three days.
Who does sick_silk believe the wallet belongs to?
“Some hypothesis: – wallet's keys have been transferred to or found by a user – user needs money – user wants to erase traces – user wants to buy alts”
Sick_silk also posted the specific inputs from the wallet in this post, if you want to track the wallet movements further.
One of the interesting things about the wallet is that quite a few of the accounts associated with the wallet were created exactly one year ago today. That has led some to speculate that the user is moving bitcoins around for capital gains purposes. Holding bitcoin for more than one year has tax implications in the United States. Your bitcoins are taxed at a different rate when you hold them for longer than one year. This would suggest that the owner of the mysterious wallet is American.
Can you imagine buying bitcoin prior to 2014, storing it in a wallet, and then losing the private keys as the price increased from 2014 to 2018? Can you imagine how happy you would be if you found those keys?
That’s just one possibility behind this billion dollar bitcoin wallet movement. We’ll keep you posted if the identity of the mysterious wallet owner becomes known.
Many are speculating that the recent bitcoin price drop of $1,000 or so may see a correlation and attributing this early-day bitcoin wallet activity to a sell off or just a whale bathing in the ocean letting us all play along in his sea-saw game of up and down trading. We will be sure to keep you updated on the latest we can pick up on from the crypto community as the search continues for what bitcoin is up to and its future progress.