$2 Billion in Long-Dormant Bitcoin On the Move Post ETF Approval

Published: Jan 17, 2024
Written By:
Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer

Nearly $2 billion worth of Bitcoin that had been stationary for over a decade unexpectedly changed wallets this week. The reason behind the sudden transfers remains unclear, but they came on the heels of regulatory green lights for multiple-spot crypto ETFs last week.

Blockchain tracker Arkham Intelligence spotted 49 addresses consolidating 49,858 BTC across just five wallets early Tuesday. Available records show the funds last shifted between wallets in 2013 and 2019 prior to this week’s activity

  • The dormant Bitcoin represented $2 billion in value at the time of transfers, which occurred shortly before the US stock market opened.
  • The shift comes days after the SEC approved ETFs, allowing mainstream stock investors exposure to Bitcoin returns.
  • There is little indication so far whether decade-long holdings moved for security purposes or to sell into new demand.

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The 5 Bitcoin wallets hold 8k to 12k BTC each

“Historically, these Bitcoins have all moved at the same times and dates,” Arkham wrote on Twitter about the BTC flows it uncovered. The timing relative to the US equities trading launch fueled theories on the motives behind mobilizing the long-static holdings. According to Arkham, these five addresses hold between 8K-12K BTC ($380M-$480M).

Securities regulators approved over 10 spot Bitcoin ETFs last Wednesday. The decisions unlocked a new conduit for retail and institutional investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin returns through normal brokerage accounts.

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It remains unclear if the dormant Bitcoin swung into motion related to changing regulatory dimensions or simply for wallet security practices. However, the particular timing of the movements as newly regulated and insured crypto products launch hints at a strategic motive.

For now, the reason behind the first measurable activity from these Bitcoin hoards in years remains a mystery. The movement of the BTC comes at a time when the coin has plunged from a high of $48,400 after the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs to a low of $42,301 at press time.

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer
Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 5 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.