An ancient BTC address that has not transacted in over a decade came back to life on Wednesday—and the profits are something to behold.
Since October 1 2012, address 1MMXRA held 412.12 BTC accumulated across four transactions, altogether worth just $8 at the time. No coins went in or out of that wallet until February 8, when all but a sliver was emptied from the wallet at $23,000 apiece.
By today’s prices, the moved coins represent $9.6 million in value–a 120,000,000% profit.
While sizable Bitcoin trades occur daily, it's not often that coins that old see the light of day again. As on-chain analytics provider Glassnode notes, dormant coins become “increasingly unlikely to be spent” after a 155-day holding period, and are thus considered a less liquid portion of the supply.
When old coins are being spent more frequently, it “may suggest a change in conviction to hold the asset”—often sparked by periods of market volatility. However, Glassnode’s newsletter from last month showed that the number of coins being held long-term is growing at a rate of 100,000 per month, despite short-term holders taking the opportunity to profit from the asset’s recent rally.
In March 2022, an even older wallet holding 489 Bitcoins dumped holdings dating back to October 2010, when Bitcoin’s price was just $0.19. That was many months before Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto had left the project. Satoshi is suspected of holding as much as 5% of Bitcoin’s entire supply due to mining in the network’s early days, but many don’t believe those coins will ever move again.
Bitcoin developer @LukeDashJr says that nobody technically knows whether Satoshi has ever touched those coins, or if he still interacts with them today. However, if he had to guess, the lack of any obvious movements likely means the creator is already dead.
“If he isn't dead, why would he allow frauds to masquerade as him unchallenged (it would be trivial for him to prove them liars with a PGP or Bitcoin signature)?” he said to Decrypt via Twitter. “Would he really hoard his stash while development lacks funding?”
“If not dead, at least he must have lost his keys,” he concluded.