One apparent Bitcoin whale in the cryptocurrency industry has just moved $313M out of Bittrex. With no test transaction beforehand, some are concerned it may be a hack.
Transfers in the hundreds of millions of dollars are becoming more and more common on the Bitcoin network. Today, yet another whale moved about 43,564 BTC ($313M) from the cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex.
Whale Alerts (@whale_alert) reported on the transfer earlier today. In total, the fee for the transaction was just $1.00. However, the withdrawal likely only cost Bittrex’s withdrawal fee of 0.0005 BTC.
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) December 4, 2019
The recipient address is completely new with only one recorded transaction. It seems to have been created shortly before the transfer.
What’s strange about the move is that no test transfer preceded it — which struck some users as strange. This has caused some to speculate that it may be a possible hack. Users have been requesting that Bittrex confirm this is a valid transfer.
Isn’t it weird how there’s no test tx? @BittrexExchange would you like to confirm that funds are safe?
— King (@KeengSchultz) December 4, 2019
The amount withdrawn is also massive compared to Bittrex’s reserves. For comparison, recent data by BitUniverse found that Bittrex has some 131,340 BTC under its reserves. That means that Bitcoin comparable to one-third of Bittrex’s entire reserves were just withdrawn. This may require clarification from the exchange itself — just to confirm nothing irregular is happening.
Other whale movements recently also caught the attention of the cryptocurrency community at large recently. In late November, one whale made headlines for moving $337M worth of BTC for just 40 cents. In what could be a clear sign of accumulation, another whale last week added 14,074 BTC to his holdings to bring his total stash to around 31,850 BTC ($231M).
Some have interpreted today’s withdrawal as indicative of bullish momentum since the funds are being moved out of an exchange. At the time of writing, Bitcoin has not moved and stands at around -0.19 percent on the daily. Although not necessarily a sign that a major move is on the horizon, these massive market movements altogether point towards an uptick of activity which lends itself to speculation. We can only wonder what the long-term strategy is for these major players.
[Update (2019-12-04): A follow-up transfer of 57,577 BTC, valued at approximately $415M, was just sent to Bittrex — and is likely related to the transfer mentioned in this article.]
Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock.