A bitcoin wallet that was dormant for almost nine years has mysteriously become active.
The digital wallet, which contains 616 BTC, dates from around the time when Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, was last active online.
Since it was last used, the value of the stash has grown from about $8,000 to over $26 million.
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Billions of dollars worth of bitcoin are trapped in digital wallets that have not been opened for years, although the semi-anonymous design of the cryptocurrency means that it is not possible to link accounts to an individual or group.
It is possible to track the movements of the wallet’s contents through an online public blockchain ledger, and if funds are moved to exchanges and cashed out it may be possible to identify who controls it.
This is not the first time a dormant wallet containing large amounts of bitcoin has been activated without explanation in recent years.
Last November, a mysterious person moved more than $1 billion worth of bitcoin from the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency wallet.
The latest developments were first noticed by crypto-tracking service Whale Alert, which published details of online transactions.
a list Compiled by BitInfoCharts The Most Valuable Inactive Bitcoin Wallet reveals that there are dozens of crypto addresses that have been dormant for at least nine years.
The most valuable wallet contains approx. 80,000 bitcoins, worth over $3.3 billion at current exchange rates.
A recent analysis by crypto market intelligence firm Glassnode estimates that long-term bitcoin holders account for about a third of the total supply of the cryptocurrency, capped at 21 million coins.
Redeeming any large amount of bitcoin is likely to result in significant price drops in the short term and could create volatility in the crypto market as a whole.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /