Bitcoin Whales Awaken: Long-Dormant Wallets Spring To Life

Apr. 26, 2023
Bitcoin Whales Awaken: Long-Dormant Wallets Spring To Life

Long-dormant wallets containing substantial amounts of Bitcoin (BTC) have suddenly sprung into action, sparking a flurry of discussions on Crypto Twitter regarding the potential reasons for these transactions.

A “Whale” in cryptocurrency is a term used to describe individuals who possess substantial quantities of a particular token. These whales have the power to influence the price and overall sentiment of a token due to their substantial holdings.

Over the weekend, one such Bitcoin whale, whose wallet had been inactive since 2012, moved over 400 BTC (worth approximately $11 million), according to available data on The whale transferred 360 BTC to one wallet and 40 BTC to other wallets.

In 2012, this individual made a purchase of around 900 BTC. They held onto the asset since then. Their initial investment has experienced an almost 40,000% gain.

Whale Activity on the Rise

This recent movement coincides with numerous other instances of whale wallets transferring large quantities of Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) in recent weeks.

In early April, another whale wallet shifted 279 BTC after more than a decade of inactivity. This wallet received 1,128 BTC between 2012 and 2013. During that time, the price was under $12 to $195. Today, the holdings are valued at $31 million.

Similar activity has been observed among Ether holders. Last week, an individual who participated in the Ether initial coin offering (ICO) moved 1 ETH to another wallet. It had been eight years of inactivity. This wallet holds over 2,356 ETH, purchased at 31 cents each during the ICO, now worth more than $4 million.

The identities of these whales remain a mystery, and none have revealed the reasons behind their transactions via on-chain messages.

Crypto Twitter Speculates

The unexplained activity has led to a wave of speculation on Crypto Twitter. Suggested reasons vary, from dark web site Silk Road developers gaining access to their wallets to insiders moving tokens ahead of unfavorable news. Some have even speculated that wallet passwords have been cracked.

Adam Cochrane, a partner at CEHV, commented on Twitter about the recent increase in 10-year-old wallets being used suddenly on multiple assets. He speculates that unless they are related to Mt Gox’s cold storage, an old wallet generator must have been hacked.

Cochrane’s theory may not be entirely improbable, as older wallets have often been targeted by hackers and online thieves.

Earlier this month, Taylor Monahan, founder of Ethereum services provider MyCrypto, highlighted an issue. A massive “wallet-draining operation” appeared to target Ether whales and early holders. Monahan estimated that over 5,000 ETH had been drained from these wallets in a sophisticated attack.

Related Reading | Unsustainable Growth Of Bitcoin Poses Security Threat, Says Analyst

Monahan further explained:

My best guess is that someone has got themselves a fatty cache of data from 1 plus yr ago & is methodically draining the keys as they parse them from the treasure trove.

Kashif is a crypto-journalist with over 4 years of experience in the Cryptoverse. He began his career as a software engineer, but his curiosity towards decentralized technology lured him into the labyrinth of crypto, where he discovered a passion for reporting the latest news and developments in the field.