• Bitcoin in range with daily high of USD 9,834
  • One of the earliest Bitcoin wallets, possibly linked to Satoshi Nakamoto, has just moved its funds for the first time since 2009
  • Options interest on Deribit hits all-time record of USD 1 billion

Bitcoin continues to plough in the same tight range above USD 9,500, with a daily high so far at USD 9,834 (CoinDesk).

One of the biggest news of the day today pertains to one of the oldest Bitcoin addresses known to the network, created around the time only a handful of people were familiar with the cryptocurrency, which was still a fledgling currency at the time.

The address, 17XiVVooLcdCUCMf9s4t4jTExacxwFS5uh, was one that collected 50 Bitcoins as a coinbase transaction delivering the block rewards for a block found in February 2009, a month after Bitcoin was introduced. And today, just hours ago, the entire stash of 50 Bitcoins has just been moved to two separate wallets, one receiving 40 BTC and the other the remainder of 10 BTC minus fees. The latter appears to be a multisig address, so 40 BTC looks like it could be change returning to the same wallet.

What happens to that trail of transactions now becomes quite hard to look at, as the inputs go on to separate into dozens of output chains, so it’s anybody’s guess as to the destination.

Now the question being asked is: is this a sign that Satoshi Nakamoto, the entity that created and launched the Bitcoin network and code, is returning? It is generally agreed by analysts that the block rewards as a result of the many blocks mined by Satoshi was never touched, hence, his wealth of Bitcoin is spread across wallets cointaining that coinbase transaction — the term used to denote the transaction delivering the block reward.

At the time, February 2009, there were only three named people who knew about Bitcoin. One, Hal Finney, has already passed away, leaving Satoshi and Martti Malmi. Of course, it could still mean that the owner of those wallets are relatives or friends, so some suggest this could be Finney’s spouse or Malmi himself, though the fact that the chain of transactions following this movement means that the owner doesn’t want people to find out their identity.

The other, highly unlikely possibility? Someone else gained access to the private key of this wallet after years of trying. We can only speculate at this stage!

Meanwhile, the option market for Bitcoin is not slowing down in growth as apparently more and more complex traders and institutional entities encroach from the traditional space into the crypto one.

According to Deribit, a crypto exchange based in Panama, and the world’s largest exchange by options trading volume, its Bitcoin options listed yesterday recorded open interest (positions that are still open) of over USD 1 billion, its highest ever. The data was provided by markets research firm Skew. Of course, the growing price of Bitcoin has led to this, but since price has been consolidating in this range for a week, this does mean that actual bitcoin is growing also on Deribit (each Deribite option contract is representative of 1 BTC). And the record set on Tuesday, saw 101,000 open options contracts.

Deribit chief compliance officer Luuk Strijers reflected:

“The new record is driven by market sentiment, an increased number of diverse global participants on Deribit and the efforts made by our various partners and us to provide a premier quality market at all times with the highest capital efficiency, integrity and connectivity and trading solution.”

The year’s gains in options trading activity on the Panamanian exchange has grown almost three times, and this is only the latest surge, last week spiking to above USD 100 million last week.

Traders find options an attractive form of derivatives as you can hold them with the option to buy or sell at a price on or before the expiry date, without the obligation of doing so. These are often used by institutional traders to hedge other positions in the spot and futures markets.

 

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