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March 3, 2024
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Bitcoin

Unidentified wallet sends $1.2m BTC to Satoshi Nakamoto


An unidentified individual initiated a transaction on Jan. 5, depositing 26.9 BTC, valued at approximately $1.19 million, into the Genesis wallet — the first wallet ever created on the Bitcoin (BTC) network by the pseudonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

This transaction occurred at 1.52 AM ET, two days after Bitcoin celebrated its 15th anniversary, and was noteworthy because it was impossible to retrieve. 

On-chain analytics platform Arkham Intelligence reported that before depositing the Bitcoins into the Genesis wallet, the mysterious wallet’s owner funded it through intricate transactions involving diverse addresses.

Unidentified wallet sends $1.19m in Bitcoin to Satoshi Nakamoto's Genesis address - 1
Source: Arkham Intelligence

Arkham Intelligence also revealed that it had traced most of the funds back to a wallet that Binance is believed to own. 

Just before the transfer to the Satoshi Nakamoto wallet, the mysterious sender withdrew nearly 27 BTC from the Binance exchange, with the wallet’s activity log only recording these two transactions.

Given that the law requires crypto exchanges such as Binance to have stringent KYC procedures, some believe the identity of the individual behind the transfer to Nakamoto’s wallet is potentially known to the Binance compliance team.

Reacting to the news, a Coinbase director, Conor Grogan humorously commented, “Either Satoshi woke up, bought 27 Bitcoins from Binance, and deposited them into their wallet, or someone just burned a million dollars.”

The Genesis wallet, known to be the brainchild of the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, has primarily amassed trivial dust transactions since its inception on Jan. 3, 2009. 

While it’s theoretically possible that Nakamoto still possesses the private keys to these wallets and could transfer the funds, the prevailing belief is that it’s highly improbable. 

Evidence supporting this belief is that funds from Nakamoto-associated wallets, including the Genesis block’s funds, have not budged since the Bitcoin inventor’s disappearance in December 2010.

Initially, when Nakamoto vanished, the Genesis wallet held 50 BTC. However, over the years, the wallet has witnessed an inflow of funds, reaching 72 BTC by the end of 2023. This latest transaction has increased the wallet’s balance to approximately 99.68 BTC, translating to around $4.3 million at current rates.

In the wake of this unexpected transaction, crypto enthusiasts have put forth several theories about it. 

Some believe it to be a tribute to the creator of Bitcoin, considering it occurred two days after Bitcoin’s 15th anniversary. Others speculate it could be a massive financial blunder or a costly publicity stunt. 

At the same time, some perceive it as an attempt to stir euphoria ahead of the anticipated approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


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