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Decade-Old Bitcoin Whale Wallets Transfer $61M in BTC

Mystery of the $61 million Bitcoin movement

After ten years of inactivity, two Bitcoin wallets transferred $61 million worth of BTC, sparking interest and speculation in the crypto world.

Key takeaways:

  • Two Bitcoin wallets that had been dormant for a decade transferred a total of 1,000 BTC, valued at $61 million.
  • The transfers occurred in quick succession, with one wallet moving its Bitcoin two blocks after the other, suggesting a possible connection between the two.
  • Such transactions are not uncommon; nearly 1.8 million Bitcoin addresses have been inactive for over a decade, holding around $121 billion in Bitcoin.

Recently, the cryptocurrency community was abuzz as two Bitcoin wallets, each holding 500 BTC and dormant for over a decade, suddenly became active. On May 12, at 7:10 pm UTC, the wallet addressed “16vRq…qjzEa" moved its entire balance during block 843,131, followed shortly by “1DUJuH…NgfC5” which also transferred its 500 Bitcoin two blocks later. These actions were recorded on Blockchain.com’s Bitcoin block explorer.

Both wallets had initially received their Bitcoin in September 2013 when the price of Bitcoin was merely $134 per unit. Today, the total value of the transferred Bitcoin amounts to approximately $61.2 million, representing a staggering 456-fold increase from their original value.

The activity didn't stop there; post-transfer, the Bitcoin from the “16vRq…qjzEa” wallet was quickly redistributed to various other addresses. However, the recipient from the “1DUJuH…NgfC5” transaction has retained possession of the 500 Bitcoin. The quick succession of these transactions led blockchain analytics firm Lookonchain to speculate that both wallets might be under the same ownership.

Before these transactions, BitInfoCharts listed these addresses as the 4,353rd largest Bitcoin whales. This movement adds to the intrigue seen in the crypto space where, just a week prior, another ancient Bitcoin wallet transferred 687 Bitcoin valued at $43.9 million.

Implications of long-term Bitcoin wallet activity

With nearly 1.8 million Bitcoin addresses inactive for a decade, containing Bitcoins worth around $121 billion, each movement of such dormant wallets garners significant attention. These addresses make up 8.5% of the total 21 million Bitcoin that will ever exist, according to Chainalysis and Fortune.

Speculations about why these wallets are activating vary. Some believe the owners might be capitalizing on Bitcoin's current price, which stands at $61,450, marking a 130% increase over the past year, as per CoinGecko. Others think the transfers could be for security reasons, moving funds to more secure, non-custodial wallets. Whatever the case, these whale movements offer a fascinating glimpse into the behaviors of long-term Bitcoin holders.