$2 Billion in ‘Dormant’ Bitcoin Just Moved—Why?

Blockchain intelligence firm Arkham raised eyebrows yesterday when it noted that $2 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) sitting largely still since 2013 had moved. What’s going on? 

The 49,858 digital coins had moved once before in 2019 but had not budged before then since 2013, according to Arkham. 

BTC’s price in 2013 went from $13.51 to little over $1,000 per coin before dropping down and closing the year at $754. 

It’s now priced at $42,544, according to CoinGecko, meaning whoever is sitting on the mystery stash that moved yesterday has made some serious gains. 

“Whales”—investors who hoard large sums of the crypto—occasionally move their digital investments after years to new addresses. 

But it’s unlikely the movement of so much BTC yesterday was done by one person.

Blockchain firm CryptoQuant told Decrypt that massive transactions like this one were typically done by a big company. 

“By the transaction patterns we speculate the transfer was done by an exchange or custodian to move funds from an existing wallet to a new wallet,” the firm said. 

CryptoQuant’s Web3 analyst Bradley Park added that from analyzing the data, it was likely the coins were moved by Coinbase, America’s biggest digital asset exchange. 

Investors who do sit on massive cryptocurrency stashes are the biggest winners, the Bank for International Settlements said in a report last year. While those who tend to buy and sell Bitcoin over a short period are most likely to lose out. 

This is because the price of the biggest cryptocurrency by market cap has increased in value monumentally over the long-term but is still subject to significant short-term volatility.

Just last week, the price of Bitcoin nearly touched $49,000 after the historic launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States. A Bitcoin ETF gives investors the ability to gain exposure to BTC without buying and storing the asset directly, which is largely expected to bring in significant amounts of Wall Street capital into crypto markets over the long term.

Nevertheless, excitement over the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin ETF—sought after by the crypto community for over a decade—has thus far not been enough to move the needle in the BTC market in a significant way. Bitcoin is down roughly 40% from its November 2021 all-time high of $69,000.

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