Image: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images
As the world braced for a long election night that effectively hasn’t ended, someone emptied out one of the most valuable digital wallets in the world.
On Tuesday, whoever is in control of the Bitcoin address “1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx” transferred all its contents—a staggering 69369.16716000 BTC or roughly $964,000,000. At this point, it’s impossible to know whether this was a heist or just the long-dormant owner of the wallet moving out their savings to another wallet.
That wallet has been an object of speculation for cryptocurrency enthusiasts for years, and until the transfer it was one of the most valuable Bitcoin addresses in existence. More recently, several hackers have been trying to break into it, trying to bruteforce the passcode that protects the wallet in an attempt to steal the funds.
Now, the money is gone, moved to another Bitcoin address, and we will never know what happened unless the person who ordered the transfer comes out publicly.
“It was either the person who cracked the password or the original owner who may have noticed the recent articles about his wallet being circulated among hackers,” Alon Gal, a security researcher who’s been keeping an eye on the wallet, said on Twitter. “Maybe the owner? Hard to know.”
The wallet was considered “dormant” since 2015, meaning the owner didn’t move any Bitcoin out of it since then, As Gal, the Chief Technology Officer of cybercrime intelligence company Hudson Rock, explained.
Ever since Bitcoin was launched in January of 2009, some of the most intriguing stories surrounding the cryptocurrency have been people losing the passwords to their wallets, or throwing out the hard drives where they were storing their bitcoins. We all related to these stories because we all occasionally put on an old jacket and find some change, making us feel like we won the lottery. This is what I wrote about when I invested roughly $1,000 in Bitcoin and Ethereum, another popular cryptocurrency, in 2017. It’s what some people call Bitcoin FOMO, that feeling that we missed out on being those early adopters who lucked out into getting free bitcoins and waking up one day as millionaires or even billionaires.
Whoever moved the more than $960,000,000 out of that mysterious wallet does not have any FOMO, they are rich as fuck, and us peasants may never know who they are.
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