Why Satoshi (probably) didn’t move some coins from 2009

What Happened

On May 20, 2020, a transaction with the id of cb1440c787d8a46977886405a34da89939e1b04907f567bf182ef27ce53a8d71 was broadcast onto the Bitcoin network and included in block 631058. The transaction’s input was from block 3654, specifically the coinbase transaction, which was mined on or around February 9, 2009. As the genesis block was created after January 3, 2009, this is a mere 37 days after the Bitcoin network’s inception.

Bitcoin Back in 2009

February 2009 is about as far back as we can go in Bitcoin. At the time, Bitcoin was known to very few people, mostly people from the cypherpunk mailing list and most were mining because they thought it was an interesting experiment. Back then, there weren’t many transactions on the network other than Coinbase transactions, as people weren’t sending Bitcoins around. One notable exception is in block 170, where Satoshi Nakamoto sent Hal Finney 10 bitcoins.

What We Can Infer

Because everyone was mining and there were few, if any, transactions that weren’t coinbase transactions back then, we can try to piece together some information based on the code back in Bitcoin v0.1.

The Block in Question

Looking at block 3654, and specifically, the coinbase transaction, we can look at the scriptSig to find the extra nonce value:

Conclusion

It’s possible, of course, that Satoshi was running Bitcoin on multiple computers and that this is from another computer than the blue strands for blocks 3653 and 3655, but given the clear blue pattern of all the coins that haven’t been spent, it seems likely that this isn’t the same person that owns the million or so Bitcoins.

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Jimmy Song

Jimmy Song

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Bitcoin Educator, Developer and Entrepreneur. Book: https://amzn.to/2RSlnTb PGP Fingerprint: C1D7 97BE 7D10 5291 228C D70C FAA6 17E3 2679 E455