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Satoshi’s Wishing Well

Bitcoin coins buried under some dirt

Table of Contents

Introduction

On the 3rd of January 2009 anonymous cryptographer under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first Bitcoin block and started the revolution. From the early days of cryptocurrency movement there were myths and legends surrounding the movement. 

Starting with the identity of the mysterious founder, and the cryptic message embedded in the genesis block. To the Bitcoin Pizza day celebrating the most expensive pizza in the history of mankind, Bitcoin has proven to be a breeding ground of urban myths or maybe it’s better to call them internet myths. Today I want to share with you one such myth, the so-called Satoshi’s Wishing Well.

Genesis Block

Before we get to the meat of it, allow me to explain some of the technical aspects of the story. Bitcoins are created through a process called “mining”, which involves looking for a solution to a difficult cryptographic puzzle. By doing so Bitcoin miners serve a couple of purposes in the Bitcoin network: validating transactions, creating new blocks, securing the network and minting or “mining” new Bitcoin.

A genesis block is the first block of a block chain. The genesis block is almost always hardcoded into the software of the applications that utilize its block chain. It is a special case in that it does not reference a previous block, and it produces an un-spendable subsidy. Meaning that it is the only Bitcoin ever mined that can’t be spent.

Here is the raw data for the Bitcoin genesis block mined on the 3rd Jan. 2009:

Genesis Block Output

You may notice that there is a message hidden in the output saying: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. The message is referencing the newspaper headline from The Times and many believe that this message holds the clue to Satoshi’s motivation for developing Bitcoin and blockchain technology. But that’s not the topic of this article, I’m only mentioning the genesis block to tell you about the first coins ever mined and the Bitcoin address the first coins were sent to.

On the 3rd of January 2009 at 18 pm Satoshi sent the 50 BTC reward from the first block to this address: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa. Little did he know at the time that this address was destined to become The Wishing Well for the future generations of Crypto enthusiasts.

The Wishing Well Address

This address still holds the first 50 Bitcoin ever, that can never be moved to a different address. If you check the address using the block explorer, like bitinfocharts.com you will notice a few interesting facts.

Please follow >this link< to check it out.

First of all you can notice that the first transaction received was on the “2009-01-03 18:15:05” meaning the very first transaction ever.

Bitcoin Address

Secondly, you will notice that the address has 68.37 BTC, quite a bit more than the original 50 BTC. Or to be more precise the address holds 18.37 BTC more than it should have. You can see the most recent incoming transaction dates from “2021-03-27 06:49:48” which is only 2 days before writing this article.

The blue line on the graph below shows how the BTC balance of the address is still growing:

Browsing the transactions

Up until late 2011 the address was untouched. But from 2012 onward people started sending bitcoin to this address. 2012 was also the year Bitcoin started being traded on the exchanges for the first time. And probably the year some people first started seeing a financial return on their “magic internet money” investment.

So we are left with the conclusion that people started using this address as a sort of Wishing Well, or maybe some kind of “tribute to the founder” deal. We can’t be sure, but the fact is that there have been 2794 transactions sent to this address and that the people keep sending more and effectively “burning” their bitcoin.

The majority of the transactions are symbolic and contain no more than 1$ of value at the time of transaction, but some of them are more interesting, like for example, someone sending 1 full bitcoin in 2012 when the price was only 5.95$ per coin.

Or someone sending 4 bitcoin when the price was $17 per coin totaling $70 at the time of transaction but worth an quarter of a million today:

Or the craziest one of them all:

Transaction from 2019

Where someone sent 1 BTC in July of 2019 when the price was 10,290 dollars. How much money did this guy make if he thought that 10 grand was an appropriate amount to throw down the Wishing Well? Or was it sent by mistake?

Conclusion

Looking at this address begs the question: How much bitcoin will end up here? Are any of these people sorry for burning their coins and want them back now? Did Satoshi see this and does he understand what people are trying to tell him? Is this the only way to communicate with Satoshi? And what are people trying to tell him exactly?

We will probably never know the motivation of people sending money to Satoshi in this way. We can only wonder. And hope that by the end of this bull run we will also feel the need to send some Thank You money to the great Satoshi Nakamoto.

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Ozzak

Ozzak

Ozzak discovered blockchain technology in early 2017 and decided that this is exactly what he wants to do with his life. In 2018 he was accepted in the Computer Science course at University College Cork. He's now in his 3rd year working for Boinnex as a part of his internship. As you may imagine he's deeply passionate about everything blockchain. Ozzak's other interests include calisthenics, blues harp and Austrian economics. He also has an impressive collection of tarantula spiders.

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