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Old Bitcoin resurfaces after swapping wallets

TL;DR

  • An old Bitcoin cache has resurfaced after the holder sent it into another wallet.
  • Glassnode says that the holders of the ancient wallets are unlikely to sell them despite their present value.

Bitcoin bought in 2011, which has been untouched for nearly 12 years, came back to life on Thursday when 139 BTC belonging to address 1H1Ab6 moved into a newly created Segwit address. These coins are part of what is known as Ancient Supply, referring to BTC purchased at least 7 years ago.

Old Bitcoins move across wallets

This is not the first time that old asset has come back to life, this year has seen a significant amount of movement from ancient Bitcoin, with 3,200 BTC reviving—1,100 of which pre-date 2013, according to a report from Glassnode.

The owner of the 139 BTC bought them in June 2011 for a bit over $2,250 and saw them grow to a staggering $3.5 million at Bitcoin’s current price mark. In March last year, the market saw a truly ancient wallet—created in October 2010 when the price was an obscene $0.19—sell off 429 BTC.

A year later, in February 2023, another Satoshi-era address moved 412 BTC worth $9.6 million after more than a decade. It’s hard to tell whether these movements are related to the selling of the coins or simply personal custodial practice, and given Bitcoin’s pseudonymous nature, we might never really know who these ancient coins belong to or what their owners are doing with them.

Glassnode says holders are less likely to sell

Glassnode, an on-chain analytics provider, does offer some insight, however. According to the company, dormant coins become increasingly unlikely to sell after 155 days, although when these are sold, they could signal a change in conviction.

A recent newsletter by the company showed that the number of Bitcoin held long-term is growing by 100,000 BTC per month. Despite the recent movements, many consider the majority of Bitcoin’s ancient supply to be lost forever.

Out of 4.25 million ancient coins, only 356,000 have ever been spent, and the remaining coins are unlikely to move anytime soon. These coins could be locked away in lost or forgotten wallets or held by individuals who are waiting for the right time to sell them.

It is also worth noting that the Bitcoin network is built to be self-auditing, meaning that it can detect when an address is no longer accessible, allowing for these lost coins to be removed from circulation permanently. This helps to ensure that the total supply of Bitcoin remains limited, with only 21 million coins set to ever exist.

The recent movements of ancient Bitcoin have caused a stir in the market and the majority of these coins remain untouched and are unlikely to move anytime soon. Nevertheless, the increasing number of long-term holders and the self-auditing nature of the network ensure that the total supply of Bitcoin remains limited and highly valued.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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