Throughout this week, numerous reports and online conversations have revolved around the third-largest bitcoin (BTC) wallet—an enduring mystery that may retain its ownership despite address alterations.
Billion-Dollar Enigmas: The Mysterious Transformation of Bitcoin’s Third-Largest Wallet
The enigmatic bitcoin wallet has captured significant attention as it swiftly ascended to become the third-largest in just 98 days. Known as “bc1ql,” this wallet currently boasts an impressive 118,300.20 BTC as of August 22, 2023, equating to an approximate value of $3.07 billion based on prevailing exchange rates. What adds to the intrigue is the enduring shroud of mystery that has enveloped this wallet, even amidst its changing addresses in recent years. For instance, in November 2021, it was the “1P5ZE” address that held the coveted third position.
Speculation and curiosity have abounded regarding this wallet, with erroneous associations, such as the misconception that it belonged to Microstrategy’s bitcoin holdings. However, when the balance of “1P5ZE” dwindled to zero, another wallet, “1LQoW,” assumed the third-largest position in 2022, amassing over 140,000 bitcoins by December of that year. Notably, this specific wallet shares transactional connections with both the infamous “1P5ZE” whale and another address, “1FzWL.” Subsequent analyses, heuristics, and deductions pointed towards a possible transition from “1P5ZE” to “1LQoW.”
When Bitcoin.com News covered “1P5ZE,” a source with access to blockchain analytics tools, namely Chainalysis and Ciphertrace, confidently stated that there was “an almost 100% certainty that both addresses in your article, both 1P5ZE and 1FzWL, belong to Gemini.” Furthermore, the latest address, “bc1ql,” is directly linked to the bitcoin address “1LQoW,” suggesting a consistent ownership pattern for this enigmatic third-largest BTC address.
Chinese cryptocurrency journalist Colin ‘Wu Blockchain’ also asserts that Gemini is the owner of this new address. He reported, “Gemini has transferred bitcoins to the new address bc1q….59v2 in the past 3 months. It currently holds 118,000 bitcoins, or about 3.08 billion U.S. dollars. It is currently the third-largest bitcoin holder. The first and second largest Bitcoin addresses are Binance Cold Wallet and Bitfinex Cold Wallet,” providing further confidence in this ownership claim.
Speculation continues to swirl, with some suggesting that Blackrock may be preparing for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Notably, Arkham Intelligence identifies the address under Jump Trading Custody as potentially belonging to Robinhood. On the blockchain explorer oxt.me, onchain analyst “Ergo BTC” raised the question on May 24, 2023, of whether “Jump [was] handing the keys to Robinhood.” Despite the conjecture, the most plausible scenarios continue to point toward ownership by either Gemini or Robinhood, with strong ties to the previous third-largest wallets, “1LQoW” and “1P5ZE.”