Bitcoin’s second-largest address has moved its 92,857 BTC, worth $1.1 billion, to two separate wallets in a single transaction that incurred a fee of about $3.97, paying 83.2 satoshis per byte.
The transaction was spotted by the Twitter-based transaction monitoring service Whale Alert, which identified the sender’s address as one belonging to Xapo, a bitcoin storage service that sold its custody business to Coinbase Custody last year.
The transaction could merely be the firm moving the funds around to ensure its securely stored in a cold wallet address, an audit, or part of a security check. The sending address now holds roughly 0.0019 BTC, while the address that received the majority of the funds is now the third-largest BTC wallet.
These addresses have such large amounts of bitcoin because cryptocurrency exchanges and other businesses store the majority of their customers’ funds in cold storage, as holding the funds offline is a safer way to ensure they are protected against hackers. It uses a network of underground vaults, which span across five continents, including one in a decommissioned military bunker, to keep the BTC in cold storage.
In May 2018, CryptoGlobe reported that Xapo held about 7% of bitcoin’s circulating supply in cold storage vaults, equal to around $10 billion at the time. Xapo’s chief executive officer Wences Casares spent years pitching the firm and the cryptocurrency to Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires.
In August 2019, Coinbase announced it acquired the institutional business of Xapo for $55 million after beating another strong contender to it, the investment giant Fidelity.
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