Monday, June 13, 2011

Want to know what $8 million in Bitcoins looks like?

Way up.
(credit: Penny Arcade)

At the moment, 432,000 bitcoins are sitting in one account, right here. For perspective, that's about $8.4 million dollars at current market rates, or (perhaps even more impressively) almost 7% of all bitcoins in existence! Current rumors are that they represent the entire holdings of all the accounts at Mt. Gox, the major bitcoin exchange site. They did have some outages this weekend, so maybe they're doing something with all their funds. Of course, who knows what it is they're doing.

Perhaps part of the puzzle: I was led to this account by a link posted by LulzSec on Saturday. The link shows a transaction where dozens of accounts transfer 50 BTC to a single one, totaling 17000 BTC in that single account. Then that account joins dozens more to transfer a total of 432,000 BTC to the account I mentioned above. What are all these movements about? And what about it did LulzSec find so lulzy? Was that just how Mt. Gox was storing its bitcoins, 50 BTC each in thousands of addresses? Are they just changing their organizational scheme? Maybe it's something as mundane as that, but even so, it's an impressive amount of wealth in one place.

side note: Earlier on Saturday LulzSec posted a tweet that seemed to hint at claiming responsibility for Friday's crash in the bitcoin market. Related? Probably not. True? Almost definitely not.

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