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50 BTC sent from old wallet likely not owned by Satoshi Nakamoto


Bitcoin mining rigs
Mining in 2009 generated a block reward of 50 bitcoins

The price of Bitcoin dropped 5% as panic-selling hit the crypto sphere after someone moved 50 bitcoins from a Satoshi-era wallet.

Bitcoin’s price went down by 5% minutes after an unidentified entity sent 50 bitcoins from one of the oldest wallets on the network to two different addresses.

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The Bitcoin was mined in February 2009, just a month after the genesis block, and marks the first time in over two and half years that Bitcoin from this time has been moved from such an old wallet. 

As Bitcoin’s price dipped, there was speculation that it could be Bitcoin’s inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, but consensus concluded that it was probably one of the early miners who ‘forgot’ about this particular wallet. 

Not Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoins

The bitcoins that sent the crypto community into a frenzy are from block 3654 — mined on February 9, 2009. The 50 bitcoins from the block 3654 stayed in that wallet address until someone moved them on May 20, 2020.

According to Sergio Damian Lerner, this particular block doesn’t fit into Satoshi Nakamoto’s mining setup dubbed the “Patoshi pattern“.

Blocks mined by the Bitcoin creator have something called an “ounce,”— an identifying piece of data that sets them apart from other blocks mined around the same time.

Is it from one of Hal Finney’s wallets?

The late Hal Finney, the recipient of the first Bitcoin transaction, tweeted about mining Bitcoin on January 11th 2009, just days after the first bitcoin was mined. Before he passed on in 2014, Finney revealed that “[his] bitcoins were in a safe deposit box” and that his children were “tech-savvy.”

However, it’s purely speculative that the bitcoins came from one of Finney’s wallets.

Not “self-proclaimed Satoshi” Craig Wright

Adding another twist to the speculation is a tweet by Calvin Ayre, who notes that Craig Wright has denied moving the coins.

Craig Wright is facing a lawsuit in the US, brought by the estate of one a Bitcoin pioneer and early miner, Dave Kleinman. Wright reportedly claimed to own the address in the past; one of the 16,000 addresses the Australian claims belong to him.

According to Jameson Lopp:

“There are still 464 coinbase UTXOs from the first 10,000 blocks (3 months) that DO NOT fall into the “Patoshi Pattern”.”

Because this was unlikely to be Satoshi Nakamoto, over 1 million bitcoins that were mined in the Satoshi-era remain intact in wallets.

What is clear though is that someone moved 50 bitcoins — worth about $486,000 at compared to the near-zero valuation in 2009 — and trigged a sell-off in the market. The initial reaction saw Bitcoin drop from prices above $9,850 to lows of $9,300.

As of press time, BTC/USD trades at around $9,470.





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