Last week, the price of bitcoin took a dive by as much as 15% over 2 days. Consequently, speculation mounted up on the internet, and a theory emerged that a bitcoin whale was on the move.
These internet detectives came to the conclusion that a major holder of cryptocurrency with an electronic wallet was making a move to sell. The owner of this electronic wallet once had as many as 111,114 bitcoins. At bitcoin’s peak, this would have been equal to around $2 billion USD.
— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) September 13, 2018
The term “bitcoin whale” describes the big bitcoin players that show their hand in the market. The ocean is a metaphor for the market, as one can then extend it to include the big fish and the small fish.
Rumours arose stating this bitcoin whale was looking to sell after the plunge bitcoin took in value this year.
A fire of debates sparked up on Reddit and a multitude of graphs arose as well as bitcoin origin stories about Dread Pirate Roberts and Mt Gox.
This case has all the required elements of a classic Reddit mystery. A famous wallet, vicious speculation reinforcing a selloff, and amateur sleuthing online that may not have actually hit the mark.
It also brings to light something that makes bitcoin unique; the pseudonymous, public nature of its blockchain means anyone trace transactions.
Chainalysis, a company which provides cryptocurrency tracking tools to companies and law enforcement provided their input. They say 50 transactions involving a total of 50,500 bitcoins originating from the whale’s wallet moved between the 23rd and 30th of August.
Based on the closing price on August 22nd, that would have been worth around $320 million. Chainalysis also said that they are unable to confirm that these coins entered any exchanges.
This is actually really interesting because of the Reddit detective work that’s been happening and just people making these assumptions that this whale is cashing out,
Said Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis in New York.
It leads to conspiracy theories that someone’s trying to sabotage bitcoin — just from someone doing an administrative move of their funds for security purposes, or we don’t even know why they have done it.
Even though the 50,500 bitcoins originate from this whale’s bitcoin address, most were scattered in 2014. The coins were sent to various wallets that may or may not be owned by the same person, then later moved back to 1 wallet again.
According to Chainalysis, only small transactions were associated with this wallet until last year, when 1,000 bitcoins were cashed out from the original address. After that, there was a period of little movement activity until August.
On cryptocurrency news sites, people believe that the wallet could be linked to Ross Ulbricht; the convicted operator for the Silk Road known by the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts”.
The Silk Road was an anonymous online marketplace for illicit goods, paid for with bitcoin.
If Ross Ulbricht isn’t the owner, then it may be Mt Gox.
Mt Gox; a crypto exchange that had to liquidate its leftover bitcoin holdings to repay its creditors after going bankrupt.
In the bitcoin community, it is tradition to watch the activity of the wallets of these early hoarders.
As bitcoin tumbled last week, the community was also afire with a longstanding exchange ShapeShift’s decision to start collecting users’ personal information. They also reported that Goldman Sachs Group was retreating on near-term plans to set up a cryptocurrency trading desk.
Bitcoin dropped 8.5% in the five days through to the 7th of September. It’s up 0.6% this week.
In Chainalysis’ telling, the timing of the whale’s moves don’t coincide with the price declines, but the speculation online may have been the sole contributor to the selloff.
“There will always be these historical addresses that become a little bit of a treasure hunt almost — who they are and when people move them really does spark interest,”
said Danny Scott, co-founder at CoinCorner (a crypto exchange and wallet provider based in the Isle of Man.). He followed this statement, saying;
“There’s so much noise around the industry and it’s hard to weed out what’s actually happening behind the scenes.”
Now, this is exciting news, someone is more than rich, what do you think? Comment with us.
This article is intended to educate and should in no way be seen as investment advice or an enticement to use the ice3x.com platform. Bitcoin is highly volatile with big profit opportunities but you should also remember that you could lose part or all of your investment whenever you take part in any high risk investment. Bitcoin trading is not a regulated industry in South Africa, which in itself carries additional risks. IF YOU ARE NOT AN ASTUTE BITCOIN TRADER, SEEK INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENTS.