2009 Bitcoin Wallet Move Spooks Market

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  • 50 was moved out of a 2009 Bitcoin wallet yesterday, dropping the Bitcoin price
  • The contents were a mining reward from one of the earliest bitcoins to be mined
  • Analytics suggest Sartoshi Nakamoto not being the move

The Bitcoin price has rebounded after dropping $665 yesterday following the moving of 50 from a 2009 Bitcoin wallet that some suspected belonged to Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. The wallet move, which was first announced by WhaleAlert, was followed by rampant speculation that the coins belonged to Satoshi Nakamoto himself, but these claims were rejected by blockchain analysts.

50 Move Followed by Fifty Different Theories

The 50, which was added to the wallet as a mining reward on February 9, 2009, was transferred out yesterday, with 40 going to a newly created address and the other 10 being split between multiple existing addresses:

2009 Bitcoin Wallet Transaction

Speculation about who had access to the 2009 Bitcoin wallet was naturally rampant, with numerous explanations offered:

There was one natural candidate behind the move, and some seemed to get caught up in the moment, not realizing the joke:

In terms of the person making the move, various individuals came forward with clever blockchain analytics to offer suggestions as to why it wasn’t Satoshi doing the deed:

Bitcoin Price Manipulation a Likely Explanation

An unlocked hard drive or hacked private key remain the most likely reasons for the emptying of the 2009 Bitcoin wallet, but whoever moved the coins and why they did so will remain a guessing game for some time. The fact that the market reacted in the way it did is intriguing, and not a little worrying. The Bitcoin price may have dropped out of fear that Satoshi was now planning to cash in on the thousands of Bitcoin he is said to own across hundreds of addresses, but it is more likely more fundamental than this – the very concept of Satoshi Nakamoto, who has not been heard from since 2011, is almost sacred to Bitcoin supporters, and so a kind of ‘second coming’ is always going to spook the market.

On the positive side, this FUD and the sell pressure that was applied to it is textbook whale play, reminiscent of the run up to $20,000 in 2017 when little nuggets of bad news would land and crash the price, before it bounced right back up and carried on going, a view that some shared:

With Bitcoin already back up from $9,100 to $9,500, it seems that this is a repeat of the tried and tested manipulation attempts to temporarily hold back the rocket ship before it takes off. Full marks for originality however.