Satoshi Nakamoto mined around 1,125,150 Bitcoin in the early days, according to a new on-chain analysis released by the Whale Alert. Based on the current market prices, the value of this BTC stash is an estimated $10.9 billion.
Whale Alert detailed, in a Medium post, how a miner dubbed ‘Patoshi,’ who is believed to be Satoshi, acquired this number of Bitcoins within a year given the mining activity could only be tracked up to May 2010.
According to Whale Alert, the anonymous Bitcoin network creator mined such a significant number of coins to prevent a 51% attack, which at the time was likely. The analytics firm further pegs its findings on research by Sergio Demian Lerner back in 2013, which was the first to coin the term ‘Patoshi’.
Lerner’s findings revealed that Satoshi had mined close to 1 million BTC, relying on a technique dubbed ”extra nonce’. Notably, this technique is visible in the early pattern of BTC mining and shows the first transaction link which saw Hal Finney receive the first coins in this network.
The ‘Patoshi Pattern’
Lerner went on to define the probable Satoshi mining as the ‘Patoshi Pattern.’ Whale Alert researchers have since been able to isolate most of the nonce patterns attributed to the Patoshi set, hence the latest Satoshi BTC stack update.
Based on the analysis, most of the early BTC mining was done by one individual whose mining software was more advanced than the industry standard back then. The chart below gives an impression of this situation as the straight lines represent normal mining while the ‘saw-like’ lines paint a picture of the Patoshi pattern:
Source; Whale Alert
Whale Alert also learned from this pattern that Patoshi made adjustments on the block time to maintain an average of 0.6 blocks in every 10 minutes. He also kept a steady hashrate by controlling 60% of the processing power in efforts to prevent a 51% attack.
This was, however, reduced to 1 block in 10 minutes as more miners joined the BTC network in order to give them an opportunity to mine as well. As per Whale Alert’s findings, 48 computers supported this operation with one of these designed to coordinate the entire process.
Will Satoshi Liquidate the position?
Most analysts have said that Satoshi stopped mining at block 54,316, with 22,503 being mined by the Bitcoin creator. While this may not be the true position, there seems to be a consensus on the fact that Satoshi indeed holds a significant number of Bitcoins.
That said, the possibility of liquidation cannot be ruled out given these coins were not burned and have been in recent projects borrowing from Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture. Whale Alert now suggests that it unlikely that Satoshi will sell his Bitcoins since the initial accumulation was solely for network fundamentals and not financial gain:
“The timing of the shutdown, the mining behavior, the systematic decrease in mining speed, and the lack of spending strongly suggest that Satoshi was only interested in growing and protecting the young network. The bitcoin mined by Patoshi was possibly a mere byproduct of these efforts, and it is unlikely that the remainder will ever be spent, although the question remains why Satoshi didn’t simply burn them in this case.”