More On: Bitcoin
Since 2011, the value of BTC holdings has increased by approximately 2 million percent due to the'sleeping whale' phenomenon.
A long-dormant bitcoin wallet has inexplicably migrated.
When the 500BTC was mined in January 2011, it was worth less than $250, but it is now worth $23.5 million at today's exchange rates.
Bitcoin's pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto was still active online when the cash were moved, but due to the semi-anonymous structure of transactions, no clear link can be proven.
Bitcoin's incredible growth over the last decade saw its global market cap surpass $1.2 trillion last November, when its price hit an all-time high of about $69 million.
Within two months of its peak, the cryptocurrency's value had dropped by approximately half, although it has subsequently climbed back beyond $47,000.
The reactivation of the dormant wallet isn't the first time a "sleeping whale" has risen in recent months, with a similar amount moving just weeks before bitcoin's record high in 2021.
Because bitcoin is created through a process known as mining, it was coined in batches of 50BTC during the first four years after its birth in 2009.
Many of the ten-year-old wallets that store these early bitcoins have been dormant since then, possibly due to their owners forgetting or losing their access keys. The most valued of these is one carrying 79,957BTC, which is worth little over $3.8 billion at today's pricing, while the total amount held in dormant wallets is more than $16 billion.
With the total quantity of bitcoin set at 21 million BTC, this dormant cryptocurrency accounts for approximately 2% of the total supply.
The reason for the abrupt activation of the latest sleeping whale, first noticed by blockchain watchdog Whale Alert, is unknown, however one possibility is to transfer it to a cryptocurrency exchange and sell it for fiat currency.
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