$1.2 million mysteriously deposited in missing Bitcoin founder's abandoned wallet — money deposited anonymously in Satoshi's Genesis wallet

Bitcoin question marks
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A mysterious deposit of 26.9 BTC has been added to the Genesis wallet. Worth approximately $1.2 million by current valuations, the Bitcoins were transferred to Satoshi Nakamoto’s first cryptocurrency wallet on Friday, January 5, at 1.52 am ET. As ‘Mr Nakamoto’ is missing and there have been no transfers out of this or any of his other known holdings since 2010, the sizable deposit has raised a lot of eyebrows and sparked heated discussion.

The 26.9 BTC Genesis deposit came from a wallet that was funded by a series of rather complex transactions. Three wallets moved funds to 12 wallets, and then the funds were brought together in one wallet which appeared to belong to Binance, according to blockchain analytics platform Arkham Intelligence. That last wallet in the donor chain was emptied into 'Satoshi 1', the Genesis wallet.

(Image credit: Blockchain.com)

The deposited BTC had traveled a very circuitous route, even for cryptocurrency, and to have it drop into what seems to be a monetary black hole makes it an even stranger transaction. As mentioned in the intro, Nakamoto’s funds have effectively been abandoned for well over a decade.

The Genesis wallet now contains nearly 100 BTC, worth over $4.3 million. At the time of Nakamoto’s disappearance, it contained 50 BTC, rising to 72 BTC in late 2023. However, this pseudonymous entity is thought to control many more digital wallets accounting for as many as 1.1 million BTC, and thus a fortune valued at approximately $43 billion.

Let’s touch upon some of the reasons that this 26.9 BTC was deposited. Most of the speculation we have seen involves a party that wished to offload illegally gotten gains. Variations on this theory include someone demonstrably ‘burning’ these BTCs to prove they are serious in some blackmail or extortion-type scheme. There are also theories involving classic pump-and-dump schemes, that it is a crazy BTC marketing ploy, or the act of a jilted lover…

(Image credit: Google)

Bitcoin is currently valued at $44,400. After struggling to get past the $30,000 mark for months, it finally saw a strong and sustained level of recovery starting in late October. The reinvigoration of the iconic cryptocurrency is thought to be due to expectations that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will give the go-ahead for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on BTC.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.