The story of Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto is one of the most fascinating mysteries of the last few decades. Even though Satoshi invented a technology that has had a big impact on the world and mined billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin, he has stayed completely anonymous and has left his riches untouched.
The reason why we can tell that Satoshi hasn’t been spending his Bitcoin is that researchers have been able to identify wallets that most likely belonged to him. In this article, we’ll explore the most interesting facts about Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallets and the addresses he used.Satoshi Nakamoto has a huge number of different wallet addresses, more than 20,000 by some estimates. Most of Satoshi's wallets contain 50 BTC, as that was the Bitcoin block reward before the first Bitcoin halving. Estimates place the size of Satoshi Nakamoto's holdings at between 600,000 BTC and 1.1 million BTC. The vast majority of Satoshi Nakamoto's wallets received a 50 BTC block reward and have remained dormant since.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallets
Satoshi used a huge number of addresses, with some estimates suggesting he could have more than 20,000 different addresses. He used a different address to receive each block reward, and since he was the most prominent miner in the early days of Bitcoin, he received a large number of block rewards.
The following table contains examples of Bitcoin addresses that are extremely likely to belong to Satoshi. As you can see, there’s nothing too remarkable about these addresses. The vast majority of Satoshi’s addresses hold 50 BTC, as he wasn’t spending his Bitcoin (except for the transaction to Hal Finney).
Some of these addresses, especially the genesis address, hold more than the 50 BTC mining reward as some Bitcoin users occasionally send BTC to addresses belonging to Satoshi as a tribute.Address Balance Notes 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa 72.73 BTC Genesis address 12cbQLTFMXRnSzktFkuoG3eHoMeFtpTu3S 18.43 BTC Address used by Satoshi to send the first user-to-user Bitcoin transaction to Hal Finney 12c6DSiU4Rq3P4ZxziKxzrL5LmMBrzjrJX 51.35 BTC n/a 1HLoD9E4SDFFPDiYfNYnkBLQ85Y51J3Zb1 50.07 BTC n/a 1FvzCLoTPGANNjWoUo6jUGuAG3wg1w4YjR 50 BTC n/a 15ubicBBWFnvoZLT7GiU2qxjRaKJPdkDMG 50.06 BTC n/a 1JfbZRwdDHKZmuiZgYArJZhcuuzuw2HuMu 50 BTC n/a 1GkQmKAmHtNfnD3LHhTkewJxKHVSta4m2a 50 BTC n/a 16LoW7y83wtawMg5XmT4M3Q7EdjjUmenjM 50.02 BTC n/a 1J6PYEzr4CUoGbnXrELyHszoTSz3wCsCaj 50 BTC n/a
The “Hal Finney” address
One of the most interesting addresses controlled by Satoshi is the address he used to send 10 BTC to Hal Finney. This was the first Bitcoin transaction between two users, as all the previous transactions were just miners (mostly Satoshi) receiving block rewards from the Bitcoin protocol.
This address currently has a Bitcoin balance of 18.43 BTC, which translates to around $481,000 at the time of writing. The balance of this address has slowly been growing over time, as it occasionally receives BTC transactions, most likely from people paying tribute to Satoshi for his groundbreaking invention.
The last time this Bitcoin address sent an outgoing transaction was on January 12, 2009, just three days after Bitcoin went live.
Hal Finney was an American software engineer and cryptography activist that was one of the earliest, if not the earliest, adopter of Bitcoin. Below, you can see a tweet about Bitcoin that Hal Finney published on January 11, only about two days after the Bitcoin software was first published by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Running bitcoin— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
The fact that Hal Finney was involved with Bitcoin so early has caused some to speculate that he is the person behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym, but this theory doesn't have much credence in the crypto community anymore.
The Bitcoin genesis address
The most famous of Satoshi’s addresses is the Bitcoin genesis address. This is the address that mined the first block on the Bitcoin blockchain. This Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallet balance is 72.6 BTC, which is worth about $1.9 million at current prices. Just like the address we mentioned previously, the genesis address occasionally receives BTC as a tribute from users.
The Bitcoin genesis address is still receiving BTC. Image source: Blockchain.com
A curious fact about the genesis address is that the 50 BTC it received as the reward for mining the genesis block is not spendable. According to an explanation provided by Charles Hoskinson, this BTC is not spendable because Satoshi did not add the genesis block’s coinbase transaction to the global transaction database which is used by Bitcoin nodes. Hoskinson added that he was unsure if this was a deliberate move by Satoshi or just a mistake.
However, the rest of the BTC in addresses controlled by Satoshi Nakamoto is spendable normally. So far, Satoshi hasn’t been spending any of his Bitcoin, which is one of the reasons why many people speculate that he might be dead.
Satoshi owns a huge number of Bitcoin
Since Satoshi wanted to stay private, it’s impossible to confirm with 100 percent certainty that the addresses that are believed to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto actually belong to him. However, blockchain researchers have devoted quite a bit of effort and time to figuring out addresses that most likely belong to Satoshi.
For example, researcher Sergio Damian Lerner estimates that Satoshi Nakamoto mined approximately 1.1 million BTC. Lerner came to this estimate by identifying a pattern in the way Bitcoin blocks were being mined in the era when Satoshi was active. This “Patoshi” pattern allowed him to differentiate between blocks likely mined by Satoshi and blocks likely mined by others with a high degree of confidence.
While it’s commonly accepted that Satoshi Nakmoto most likely mined a huge amount of Bitcoin, estimates vary depending on the source. For example, BitMEX Research said in 2018 that an estimate of between 600,000 and 700,000 BTC is more likely to be accurate than Lerner’s 1.1 million BTC estimate. Even if we use BitMEX Research’s more conservative 600,000 BTC estimate, Satoshi still own $15.7 billion worth of Bitcoin.
Most likely, many sophisticated traders in the crypto market monitor addresses that are likely to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. If Satoshi were to suddenly activate one or more of his dormant wallets, that would likely be a massive event in the crypto markets.
There have already been some occasions when Satoshi-era Bitcoin was being moved, but these transactions didn’t come from addresses that are believed to belong to Satoshi.
The bottom line - Satoshi Nakamoto has thousands of Bitcoin addresses
Regardless of whichever estimate we’re using, it’s pretty clear that Satoshi Nakamoto has thousands of different Bitcoin wallets.
Most of his wallets are not too remarkable, as they were simply used to receive a block reward and have been dormant ever since. Still, if we will ever see transactions from wallets that are thought to belong to Satoshi, we could see some chaos in the Bitcoin markets.
If you’re interested in more information about Bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor, check out our article exploring Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth.
What is Satoshi’s Bitcoin wallet?
Satoshi has more than one wallet — in fact, he most likely has thousands of different wallets. The reason for this is that Satoshi used a new BTC address to receive the reward for each block he mined. The most notable wallets that we know belong to Satoshi are the Bitcoin genesis wallet and the wallet he used to send 10 BTC to early Bitcoin adopted Hal Finney.
How many addresses does Satoshi Nakamoto have?
Satoshi has thousands of different Bitcoin wallets, with some estimates saying that he has more than 20,000 different wallets. Satoshi used a new wallet to receive the reward for every block he mined, which is why he has so many different wallets.