Around 50k BTC on the move

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Jul 30, 2019

It will never cease to amaze me how frequently massive amounts of wealth can be seen moving across bitcoin's blockchain. And like many others, I often can't help but poke around block explorers and on-chain data, hoping to discover a clue that might point me towards the entity responsible.

So even though I am somewhat fresh off of a transatlantic flight with very little sleep, I thought I'd post some thoughts on the transaction that was initiated yesterday. This small transaction moved 47,453 BTC, which has since been broken down and dispersed into freshly created addresses.

Screen shot from

The initiating address was, until yesterday, number 17 on the Bitcoin Rich List and had been steadily accumulating BTC since August 9th, 2015.

Below is a break out of the transaction using, because I like how they organize the general information and how one can export a receipt to PDF. The destination address is circled in red.


Now jumping back to bitinfocharts to view the visualized history of the recipients address I saw that luckily enough they have also identified the owner.

Address apparently controlled by Hong Kong-based crypto storage company Xapo’s

Considering this information, I can't help but be reminded of a number of articles I've come across by Larry Cermak and the team over at The Block. They have reported that Coinbase is rumored to have been in talks with Xapo regarding the purchase of their bitcoin custody business.

And looking at his twitter account, it appears he is still a firm believer of these thoughts.

Either way, the idea is plausible. Given the fact that the initial address has done nothing but accumulate bitcoin, regardless of market environment, it would make sense if it turned out to be a wallet controlled by an entity such as Coinbase.

But I am not so sure, so I'll add a little piece of interesting information to the puzzle. According to 2018 GRAYSCALE BITCOIN TRUST annual report, founded by Barry Silbert, they uses one company in particular as the custodian to the trust. That company is Xapo.

Further into the report it can be determined just how long Xapo and Grayscale have been doing business together.

I wonder if that could be a coincidence that the date they began to work with Grayscale, also aligns with the earliest date displayed on the balance chart for the initial address which pointed towards this rabbit hole.

So, is it Coinbase, Grayscale or perhaps something else? One thing that we know for sure is that Xapo, an institutional level custodian, appears to have been involved and would likely be able to answer these questions.

Finally, it is worth noting that the blockchain movements over the past 48hrs have been significant. Above we can see that these recent events may certainly be worth taking a close look at.

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Jul 30, 2019

Assets from this insight

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$ 8203.61

2.92%in last 7d