Market Wrap: Who Transferred 10K Bitcoin From Wallet Linked to the Failed BTC-e Exchange?
A crypto wallet attributed to the BTC-e exchange that's been linked to the 2014 Mt. Gox hack burst into life Wednesday with its largest transaction since August 2017, sending a total of 10,000 bitcoin, worth around $165 million, to two unidentified recipients, according to CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakova.
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- As part of the transaction, which occurred around 08:38 UTC, a wallet that received 3,500 bitcoin forwarded 300 BTC to another destination. That was split further and landed in several wallets not attributed to any known custodial service.
- The distribution pattern is open to interpretation: It's possible the wallet owner simply sent the money to other wallets of their own, sent it to other people or cashed out through an unofficial over-the-counter broker. The remaining 6,500 stayed put.
- Mt. Gox, the first bitcoin exchange, was robbed of 744,408 BTC and shut permanently in 2014. Alexander Vinnik, alleged to be the operator of BTC-e – which he denies – was arrested in 2017 at a resort near Thessaloniki, Greece, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice on money laundering and other allegations.
- The wallet involved in Wednesday's transaction was attributed to BTC-e by blockchain analytics system Crystal Blockchain. The transfer was noticed by Russian crypto entrepreneur Sergey Mendeleev, who published the observation in his Telegram channel.
- The discovery comes as the crypto industry suffers through its latest debacle, the collapse of FTX and fallout that has affected multiple companies touching the crypto exchange and its affiliated companies.
Bitcoin (BTC) jumped about 2% after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November meeting showed that the majority of central bankers prefer a slower pace of rate hikes going forward. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was trading as high as $16,671 but had settled back to $16,400 as of press time.
“A substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate,” the minutes stated. “The uncertain lags and magnitudes associated with the effects of monetary policy actions on economic activity and inflation were among the reasons cited regarding why such an assessment was important.”
Some altcoins notched similar gains: Ether (ETH) followed BTC, and was up roughly 3.9% to $1,170. Solana’s SOL token jumped 20%, while Binance's in-house BNB token was up 12%.
Equity markets turned green ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday: U.S. stocks edged up following the Fed minutes release, with the Standard and Poor's 500 Index up 0.5% at closing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 0.2% while Nasdaq was up 0.9%.
- Pre-halving rally? Litecoin’s LTC token surged to a six-month high. LTC has rallied over 43%, from $55 to $78, this month, with prices rising 13% in the past 24 hours alone. LTC's bullish turn comes eight months ahead of Litecoin's third mining reward halving, which will cut LTC's pace of supply expansion by 50%.
- Anxious Ethereum stakers are now questioning when they will be able to access the funds. Ethereum core developers generally agree that the aim was always for staked ether (ETH) withdrawals to be opened up as part of “Shanghai,” the next upgrade on its development road map. But a definitive date for withdrawals? That hasn’t been set yet.
- Listen 🎧: Today’s "CoinDesk Markets Daily" podcast discusses the latest market movements and a deeper look at the troubled transactions inside FTX.
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