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20 May 2020

50 bitcoins mined in February 2009 just moved

Early today a Bitcoin UTXO more than 11 years old was spent on-chain. The coins were first mined on February 9, 2009, just one month after Bitcoin was launched. According to CoinMetrics engineer Antoine Le Calvez, the transaction marked the first time since August 2017 that someone spent coins dating back to 2009.

Bitcoin quickly dropped more than 3% after a Whale Alert tweet suggesting the wallet the coins were sent from potentially belonged to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin who is believed to have mined more than 1 million bitcoins. However based on prior research on Satoshi’s coins, the nonce pattern of the block that contained the transaction spent today, does not match the nonce pattern of the blocks Satoshi is likely to have mined. The blocks Satoshi is likely to have mined have a distinct pattern, which can be seen from the very first block mined on Bitcoin. This entity (Patoshi) which many presume to be Satoshi mined more than 1.1 million bitcoins, equivalent to ~6% of the current 18.4 million coin supply.

Source: Satoshiblocks

Why it matters: - It is rare to see coins spent from 2009. Many of the coins mined from this period that have yet to move are presumed to be lost. While the coins likely don’t belong to Satoshi, it is the case that a Bitcoin OG spent those coins. - The event and subsequent selloff suggests that there is some anxiety about the potential for Satoshi’s coins being moved. Satoshi is estimated to have over 1.1 million coins, and there is the fear (albeit overblown) that those coins could be market dumped on an exchange, which would tank Bitcoin’s price.

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