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Blockchain: Bitcoin whale moves $1.1 billion in bitcoins for an $80 fee

Blockchain:

Blockchain: Whales are at play.
Whales are at play.

Image: iStock / Getty Images

By Stan Schroeder

Bitcoin hasn’t (yet) fulfilled its original promise of being widely-used electronic cash, but it still offers some features that would be hard to achieve within the traditional banking system. Namely, moving $1.1 billion from one address to another, in a single transaction that took minutes and cost just $80. 

The details of the transaction, which happened late on Tuesday, can be seen here. A total of 124,946.6 BTC were moved, which were worth roughly $1.1 billion at the time. The transaction fee was 0.0096 BTC, or around $83. 

Anyone controlling that much bitcoin is called a “whale” in Bitcoin lingo. Notably, the number of bitcoins moved accounts for roughly 0.7% of the total circulating supply, which is a little over 18.1 million bitcoins. 

The massive transaction is not the first of its kind, but it is rare, and is definitely one of the largest ever in dollar terms. It was noticed on Twitter and Reddit, where one user traced it back to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. 

124,946 bitcoin were just moved in a transaction.

That’s ~$1,100,000,000 transfered for an $80 fee.

No government, bank or third party had to verify the transaction, nor could they have stopped it if they wanted to.

The true power of bitcoin. 🔥

— Rhythm (@Rhythmtrader) January 14, 2020

Bitcoin critics from the cryptocurrency world pointed out that you could make a similar transaction even cheaper with other coins, but realistically, not many have a total value big enough to make such a massive transaction feasible. 

With this single transaction, the receiving address became the second “richest” Bitcoin address, trailing just one which holds 255,502 BTC. 

The transaction happened after a period of fairly quick growth for BTC and other cryptocurrencies. The price of Bitcoin jumped more than 10 percent since Friday, and is currently at $8,714.

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