‘Ancient’ Bitcoin Changes Wallets After 12 Years Dormant


Asleep for ages, more sats wake from years of slumber.

Bitcoin bought in 2011 came back to life on Thursday, when 139 Bitcoin belonging to address 1H1Ab6 moved into a newly created Segwit address. 

The owner—who hodled for nearly twelve years–bought the coins in June 2011 for a bit over $2,250 dollars, only to see them grow into a staggering $3.5 million at bitcoin’s current price mark

These coins belong to what’s known as Ancient Supply, which refers to Bitcoin purchased at least 7 years ago, although some analysts use 5 years as their base date.

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. 

Spurring the curiosity of many,  the market saw a truly ancient wallet—created in October 2010 when the price was an obscene $0.19 USD—sell off 429 Bitcoins in March last year. A year later, in February 2023, another Satoshi-era address moved 412 Bitcoin worth $9.6 million dollars after more than a decade. 

It's hard to tell whether these owners' convictions have changed and whether these movements are related to the selling of the coins or simply personal custodial practice. Given Bitcoin’s pseudonymous nature, we might never really know who these ancient coins belong to or what they are doing with them–especially when thinking of Satoshi’s stash, which is said to sit at 5% of the total supply. 

Glassnode does offer some insight, however. According to the on-chain analytics provider, 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 did show that the number of Bitcoin held long term is growing by 100,000 BTC per month. 

Despite yesterday’s move, and the sporadic satoshi-era spending, many consider the majority of Bitcoin’s ancient supply—4.25 million of which only 356,000 have ever been spent—to be lost forever.

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