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Who Sent 27 BTC To Satoshi?
Someone sent Satoshi a huge amount of money. Was it a fat finger, were they flushing out Bitcoin's creator, or trolling Craig Wright?
On Friday, an unknown user sent Satoshi 26.9 BTC.
The bitcoins appear to have been purchased on Binance and then withdrawn to the address that received the rewards for the Genesis block, over 15 years ago.
There aren't many good reasons why someone would burn almost $1.2 million. Here are three that we, and members of the crypto community, have thought of.
1) Fat Finger
The most obvious explanation is that it's a mistake. For some reason, the user had it in their clipboard when they pasted in the address for their withdrawal. Or perhaps they meant to send a smaller amount to the Genesis block address. But why?
People like to send small amounts to Satoshi. It's a bit like the crypto equivalent of throwing loose change into a wishing well. It's a way of tipping Bitcoin's creator with a permanent transaction that everyone can see. That address now contains almost 100 BTC, so nearly 50 BTC in donations as well as the Genesis block rewards. Maybe the user wanted to send a few dollars, and somehow misplaced a decimal point (presumably because they were drunk or high).
Who knows, but presumably, they are now kicking themselves that they send almost 27 BTC to an address that only Satoshi can access.
As a point of interest, the original 50 BTC from the Genesis block cannot be spent, because there is no UTXO for those coins. The 26.9 BTC can be spent, but only by the person who controls the private key.
2) Flushing Out Satoshi
Crypto lawyer Jeremy Hogan came up with a novel but unlikely theory. The "only thing that makes sense", he claims, is that someone is trying to flush out Satoshi.
New IRS rules state that users have to report receipt of any transaction over $10,000. Thus, says Hogan, if Satoshi doesn't report this, he is in breach of the law.
Why send $1.2 million rather than $10,001? Well, just to make sure he noticed.
It's not a good explanation, since Satoshi (if he's even alive) has been careful enough to cover his tracks and isn't likely to voluntarily come out of hiding for this.
3) Trolling Craig
A much better explanation is that this is someone who owes Craig Wright money. Instead of sending it to an address Wright has given them, or using a bank transfer, the person sent it to an address that Wright says he controls.
What could Wright then do? Payment has been made, and unless he backtracks and admits that he does not have the keys to the Genesis block address, and is therefore not Satoshi and has been lying all this time, he loses the money. Even if he does do all that, the sender can make the case that Wright had said he controlled the address and so it was a legitimate place to send it.
If this is what happened, it's a brilliant way of trolling Wright, who has been experiencing some difficulties in the courts in recent months.
We may never know the true reason. But the sender may at least have been relieved that they only had to pay a $12 transaction fee to burn more money than most people will see in their lives.
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