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$250 million in BTC takes a walk

$250 million in BTC takes a walk

News

A huge tranche of bitcoins was moved on Tuesday morning. The origin of the 66,000 BTC tx was an address that had been dormant for over 4 years: https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1EBHA1ckUWzNKN7BMfDwGTx6GKEbADUozX

The total value of the BTC was well over $250 million, even at these depressed prices.

The recipient was this address: https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1KVAHsKYTGwerk6RSMBotfQMrau26nfwWm. Look what happens: the funds are split into many, many outputs of 660.33 BTC (plus one of 200). What’s the deal?

The 200 BTC then goes to this address: https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/1FUBESNxB2JkyXPc4o9wwoGt158DC9A8dj. (Interesting prefix, FUBES…)

More interesting is that this address has received multiple deposits of 200 BTC, currently holding 8,000 BTC. And most of the inputs to those transactions are Bech32 pubkey hash prefixes, characteristic of SegWit. FUBES is not.

Curiouser and curiouser.

So a whale moves a massive stack of bitcoin that have sat undisturbed for years. He – or someone else associated in the process – creates a vanity address specifically for the purpose of receiving tranches of 200 BTC. The funds are apparently split into many different addresses, all with the same format, except for one.

It’s pretty weird. Obviously not a simple transfer to an exchange. Maybe a peer-to-peer (OTC) transaction – but it’s not done yet because there are lots of funds left in those one-off addresses. We’re going to have to wait to see how this one resolves. What seems most likely at this point is that the whale is mixing his funds, in a process that has not yet been completed; FUBES in this scenario would be the mixer, and it got paid a very large fee for its work. But even that seems odd; why go to the trouble? Why pay so much? Is this form of mixing really so reliable and safe for such a large quantity of BTC? Mixers pool funds from many addresses, so they only really work if your BTC are a small part of the total amount. 66,000 BTC isn’t a small part of anything. It’s a mystery, and we’ll have to wait for more information before we can deduce more.

FUBES, by the way, has several entries in the Urban Dictionary. The top definition is:

A person, a homie, possibly friend.

Any of you fubes got she [sic] tapes from the Scientology place?

Update:

Another address has also just moved a similar amount of BTC: https://www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/167c5a7c91c908f3159bab679664d8abc06c63bcc0d277a326b609ae360cfb55. The same process is repeated, with funds split between multiple SegWit addresses. Big money is doing its laundry…

In fact, looking at this page: https://blockchair.com/bitcoin we see that there have been many large transactions from old wallets recently. Bitcoin Days Destroyed is something like a measure of Hodler impatience. It multiplies transaction size by the length of time since those coins were last moved. What we’re seeing now is long-term, large hodlers moving coins. Brace yourselves…

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