A Satoshi-era bitcoin address that had not transacted for over a decade suddenly came back to life this week, resulting in a remarkable yield.
The development was first highlighted on Wednesday by blockchain security firm Perkshield. According to the firm, the address, which has been inactive for 11 years, surprisingly transferred 412 BTC worth around $9.6 million to another address.
“Dormant $BTC address 1MMXRA (which has been inactive for 11 years) has transferred ~412 BTC (~$9.6M) out (Credit to BlockBeatsAsia)”, wrote Perkshield.
Data from Bitinfocharts shows that the address received the bitcoin in batches on different dates in 2012 before going inactive. Notably, until 1st October 2012, when it was last active, the 412 BTC was worth just $8, meaning that the value of that stash had grown 120,000,000% at the time of transfer.
The awakening of dormant BTC addresses isn’t unusual to the Bitcoin community. In November 2022, a wallet believed to be owned by the failed crypto exchange BTC-e came to life, transferring a total of 10,000 bitcoins worth about $165 million to different entities. In the same month, seven dormant bitcoin wallets, each holding 500 BTC for about 11 years, awoke, moving 3500 BTC to new addresses.
In October, an entity holding 32,000 BTC that bought the coins at an average price of $3,900 moved its coins for the first time since 2018. Earlier in March, an even older wallet holding 489 bitcoins got activated before dumping holdings dating back to October 2010.
That said, the activation of old wallets often creates a buzz of enthusiasm among crypto enthusiasts, with some speculating the entities could have gone to prison or misplaced their keys. However, according to monitoring resource Whalemap, dormant wallets’ awakening typically indicates an OTC trade, signifying someone is willing to buy those bitcoins immediately.
Notably, this activation also increases the possibility that they could belong to Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous Bitcoin inventor whose identity and whereabouts remain unknown. For years, the crypto community has speculated that Satoshi could be holding hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin.
While it is not empirically knowable how many coins he owned, researchers such as veteran cryptocurrency security consultant Sergio Demian Lerner have estimated that Satoshi’s fortune is around 1M Bitcoins. These coins were mainly accumulated during the formative years of the pioneer cryptocurrency through mining.