In brief

  • Bitcoin from 2010 was just moved to another address.
  • The Bitcoin has shot up in value since it was last moved—and is now worth $15.5 million.
  • It isn’t clear why the coins were moved—but it is likely the owner would’ve been in contact with Bitcoin’s creator.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include three other Bitcoin "awakenings" that occurred over the weekend and to add comments from Kirill Kretov, a developer of tools for automated trading.

Bitcoin worth over $30 million that had previously been sitting around in idle wallets “awakened” this weekend in four transactions. 

Satoshi-era Bitcoin moved for the first time Friday—when 50 coins now worth over $700,000 moved to a single address. It hadn’t previously been touched since 2010. 

The same thing then happened last night, when another previously untouched “sleeping” 50 Bitcoins were moved. 

Just seven hours later, 20 wallets moved a total of 1,000 Bitcoin—worth $15.5 million—to a single address. 

And today, the exact same thing happened again: 20 wallets holding 1,000 Bitcoin moved to a single address, bringing the total of Bitcoin “awakened” to $32.6 million. 

It isn’t clear who moved the Bitcoin or why they decided to transfer it to another address but the Satoshi-era coins were mined back in 2010—when the currency was worth peanuts. 

Kirill Kretov, a developer of tools for automated trading, flagged the move on LinkedIn. He told Decrypt that the Bitcoin possibly moved because the current price of Bitcoin “is good enough to sell some portion of holdings.” 

He added: “But surely I can't know what is in the head of such a true holder. I guess it's hard for them to travel due to various metal detectors.”

“Satoshi era” Bitcoin refers to coins mined when Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, was still communicating with the crypto world. Nakamoto’s identity is still unknown and no one has heard from him since 2010. 

If the owner of the coins moved yesterday were to sell them now, the profits would be astronomical: in 2010, 1 Bitcoin was worth less than $0.10. Today the cryptocurrency is trading for $15,342.56, according to CoinMarketCap. 

This isn’t the first time this year Bitcoin that previously had been collecting dust has been moved. 

Just last month, $11.4 million worth of Bitcoin was moved. It had also been sitting in an idle wallet since 2010.