Crypto HODL Strategy Pays Off: Reactivated Bitcoin Wallet Worth $8,000 Grows to $30 Million in 9 Years

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Despite the huge economic impact on cryptocurrency following China’s latest regulations making them illegal, there is still good crypto news to be had. A “dormant” Bitcoin wallet, which had an initial value of $8,000, has been activated after 9 years of inactivity, with a value of almost $30 million at the time of the re-activation.

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According to Whale Alert, the wallet holds 616 Bitcoins and was activated last Sunday. The reactivation has given rise to online speculation, as the digital wallet “dates back to around the time that Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto was last active online,” The Independent reports. On December 10, 2012, the wallet received 616 Bitcoins. Back then, Bitcoin was worth $13.30, and the entire transaction was worth about $8,195, according to Decrypt.

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According to BitInfoCharts — which lists the most valuable dormant Bitcoin wallets — the largest one has 80,000 Bitcoins, which at today’s price represents more than $3 billion.

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The re-activation of dormant crypto wallets is nothing new. In November 2020, for example, a person moved $1 billion worth of Bitcoins from a crypto wallet. Some experts believed that the wallet might have ties to the infamous Silk Road marketplace that was shut down in 2013. The Silk Road’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life imprisonment two years later.

“The movement of these bitcoins today, now worth around $955 million, may represent Ulbricht or a Silk Road vendor moving their funds,” Tom Robinson, co-founder and chief scientist of crypto-compliance provider Elliptic, said in a blog post last November. “However it seems unlikely that Ulbricht would be able to conduct a bitcoin transaction from prison. Alternatively, the encrypted wallet file may have been real, and the password has now been cracked — allowing the bitcoins to be moved.”

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Either way, the funds are now on the move, and whoever now controls the Bitcoins may want to cash them out, he added in the post. “Exchanges should be on alert for bitcoin deposits originating from these wallets and use blockchain analytics tools such as Elliptic’s to monitor for this activity and fulfil their compliance obligations.”

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Last updated: September 24, 2021

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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