A twitter bot alleged a recent bitcoin transaction of 50 BTC mined in 2009 came from an 11 year old inactive wallet possibly belonging to Satoshi Nakamoto, the protocol’s creator.
“Whale Alert,” a popular Twitter bot account tracking on-chain transactions for multiple blockchains tweeted:
👤👤👤 40 #BTC (391,055 USD) transferred from possible #Satoshi owned wallet (dormant since 2009) to unknown wallet ℹ️ The coins in this transaction were mined in the first month of Bitcoin's existence. Tx: https://t.co/hxDJGGtfF0 — Whale Alert (@whale_alert) May 20, 2020
BTC price dipped as the tweet quickly went viral.
Hunter Merghart, head of U.S. operations at Bitstamp, commented on the market’s reaction:
Can we maybe try to stop calling large market sells “flash dumps” or “flash crashes” for the sake of the overall crypto market? Large sell (or buy) orders are okay in markets! Seller here got good fast liquidity and buyers were there to fill it. Everything worked as designed — Hunter Merghart (@HunterBM) May 20, 2020
The coins were old (mined in 2009) and inactive (not moved until May 20) is the only link that possibly connected them to Satoshi Nakamoto.
Commenting on the unconfirmed alert, bitcoin software engineer Jameson Lopp noted the script behind the account is a bit naive and should be improved for accuracy:
No. Y'all need to up your analysis game. https://t.co/j7YuZ7qsQ5 — Jameson Lopp (@lopp) May 20, 2020
More sophisticated analysis casts doubt on Nakamoto’s connection to these coins:
Here's a visualization of the Patoshi pattern with the block that was just spent. The blocks believed to be Satoshi have a specific pattern in the nonce, which this block does not have pic.twitter.com/E86eEs6MZf — nic carter (@nic__carter) May 20, 2020
Analysis of the habits of a single, early miner has been used to develop the “Patoshi pattern,” which is believed to indicate which blocks Nakamoto most likely mined and those he didn’t.
The “Patoshi” miner is believed to be Nakamoto, according to the hashrate analysis. However, disproving that Satoshi Nakamoto owned these coins is also ultimately impossible.