Weekly Insights #9: $2 billion worth of bitcoin moved

Last Tuesday, a large amount of bitcoin was on the move. Rumors circulated that the US government was planning to sell these bitcoins. In this Weekly Insights, we'll delve deeper into this. We will also discuss the 'Meme Mode' in the Bitonic app, as well as Coinbase integrating Lightning, and the Bitkey hardware wallet.

$2 billion worth of bitcoin moved

A wallet likely belonging to the US government moved nearly $2 billion worth of bitcoin on Tuesday morning. What's the story behind this?

As a possible test transaction, 100,000 satoshis were sent to a bitcoin address belonging to Coinbase Prime. This also resulted in 30,174 BTC being moved to the 'change address'.

When sending a bitcoin transaction, the entire value of a UTXO is always sent: a portion goes to the recipient and the remainder is received back by the sender in a 'change address'.

A portion of the 30,174 BTC, specifically 1999 BTC, was sent less than three quarters of an hour later to Coinbase Prime and possibly sold. At the time of writing, 27,799 BTC is still held in a bitcoin address belonging to the US government, roughly valued at €1.7 billion.

But where do these bitcoins come from? They originate from the infamous Silk Road, a dark web marketplace shut down by the FBI in 2013, with the bitcoins subsequently seized by the US government.

Whether the government will sell more bitcoins soon remains speculation. Nearly 10,000 of the total 50,000 BTC were sold last year. It's also possible that it may only involve the previously mentioned 1999 BTC. After all, why would you sell all your bitcoins?

Meme Mode in the Bitonic app

Last Monday, we discovered a highly unusual bug in the Bitonic app that caused quite a stir. With the introduction of the mysterious 'Meme Mode,' users could earn €5 in sats.

Although almost all memes have been found so far, a few are still missing. So if you have nothing to do this weekend, you know what to do: respond to our post on X with a screenshot of a meme that has not yet been discovered. Happy meme hunting!

Bitonic app

Coinbase will integrate Lightning

After a long period of anticipation, Coinbase seems to finally be taking steps to integrate Lightning. This move will enhance the speed of depositing and withdrawing bitcoin (via Lightning) while reducing costs. Coinbase will collaborate with Lightspark, which will manage and host the nodes.

While Lightning has been available on Bitonic's exchange, BL3P, for some time, and other exchanges like Kraken have been supporting it for a while, it remains a mystery why Coinbase, as one of the oldest exchanges, has waited so long.

An interesting fact: the capacity of the Lightning network has more than doubled in the past two years and now exceeds 4500 BTC.

Bitkey hardware wallet

Securely managing bitcoin remains essential for bitcoin users. One of the biggest obstacles in this digital world is the risk of losing access to your wallets, whether it's losing hardware wallets, phones, or even physical backups.

Bitkey is the new hardware wallet from Block. This wallet helps users securely store bitcoin via a multisig solution.

Want to learn more? For a review of the Bitkey hardware wallet (Dutch), visit our educational news website: bitcoin.nl.

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