In 2023, a notable wave of dormant ‘sleeping bitcoin’ transactions resurfaced, totaling a staggering 37,330 BTC valued at $958 million based on current BTC exchange rates. Throughout the year, analysis revealed that these inactive bitcoin wallets from 2010 and 2011 are becoming scarcer. However, they occasionally stir, reawakening after over a decade of inactivity.
Echoes From the Past: 2023 Sees $958M in ‘Sleeping Bitcoins’ Rouse From Multi-Year Slumbers
In recent years, Bitcoin.com News has diligently tracked the movements of dormant bitcoins. Notably, in 2020 and 2021, numerous transactions emerged from 2010-era wallets. A specific whale was observed consistently executing batches of 20 block rewards, each holding 1,000 BTC, multiple times during these years.
Shift to the present, and such significant movements have become a rarity. Yet, just last month, a dormant 2010 wallet sprang to life, transferring 1,005 BTC after more than a decade of stillness. ‘Sleeping bitcoins’ refer to the bitcoin (BTC) funds that have remained untouched in their wallets for a long period of time.
Think of them like old, dusty coins in a jar that haven’t been spent or moved in years. These bitcoins haven’t been transacted or sold, even if the value of BTC has risen or fallen significantly. It’s possible that the owners have lost their access, forgotten about them, or are simply holding onto them as a long-term investment.
When these dormant coins shift, it’s clear to the public that the owner retains command over the assets, opting either to relocate or spend them. The majority of these sleeping bitcoins remain untouched, meaning not even the smallest fraction has been transacted until they’re noticed moving once more.
For example, on April 22, 2023, a block reward originating from 2010 was moved after years of dormancy. Yet, a minuscule transfer of 0.00001094 BTC in 2021 meant that by 2023, blockchain analysts tracking untouched sleeping bitcoins overlooked the transaction, since the address had lost its “virgin” status after that 2021 activity.
In 2023, data from btcparser.com reveals that a staggering 37,330.50 BTC, originating from dormant accounts between 2010 and 2017, made a comeback. At today’s exchange rate, this treasure trove is valued at a whopping $958 million. A breakdown of the year reveals some intriguing trends: from January to September 11, 2023, there were 9 transactions from 2010-era wallets.
The subsequent years saw 16 transactions from 2011, 40 from 2012, 95 from 2013, 81 from 2014, 77 from 2015, 232 from 2016, and 135 rounding it off for 2017. According to this year’s total count, the dormant bitcoins sprung to life with a total of 685 transactions. The activity of sleeping bitcoins in 2023 is emblematic of the enduring mystique surrounding dormant digital assets.
While many of these long-inactive wallets hail from the network’s infancy, their occasional reactivation sparks widespread curiosity. As each year unfolds, the dwindling number of untouched bitcoins from the early 2010 and 2011 period underscores the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency ownership and the unpredictable nature of digital wealth.
What do you think about the number of so-called sleeping bitcoin spends this year? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.