The wallet received the 8,000 ETH after participating in Ethereum’s ICO (Initial Coin Offering) in 2015 and remained inactive until May 27. On that day, its owner began with a cautionary transfer of 1 ETH to a new wallet. One minute later they transferred the remaining 7,999 ETH to the new wallet address.
At the time of writing, the ETH stash is worth approximately $14.7 million.
This transaction was first noticed by blockchain analytics service Lookonchain, which informed its 219,000 Twitter followers of the transfer.
An Ethereum ICO participant who has been dormant for 8 years woke up today.
— Lookonchain (@lookonchain) May 28, 2023
In the comments section of the post, there was some community speculation around the reason for the transfer. One commenter suggested that the owner had just been released from prison, while another made a humorous remark that they were transferring funds from an old Ledger — a pointed comment about the company’s controversial new Recover upgrade.
At the time, the 8,000 ETH was purchased at a price of just $0.31 per token, which places the initial investment amount at around $2,500.
At today’s prices of $1,917, this marks a staggering 590,000% gain for the owner.
This isn’t the only ICO-era Ether wallet to re-awaken in recent months. On April 24, another wallet which received 2,365 ETH ($4.5 million) made its first transaction in nearly 8 years, after the owner transferred just 2,360 ETH to a new wallet address.
On March 5, another ETH wallet transferred 10,226 ETH ($19.6 million) out to new wallet address after remaining dormant for five years.
The new wallet address is also one with little in the way of any significant transaction history. The only other ETH transaction recorded in the new wallet is a 207 ETH ($380,000) incoming transaction that was made just a few minutes prior to the most recent transfer. Notably, the additional 207 ETH were sent from another wallet that remained completely inactive since June 12, 2017.
Interestingly, the new wallet also contains $46 worth of a memecoin called Gensler (GENSLR), and just $0.24 worth of a dragon-inspired token called Dejitaru Tsuka (TSUKA), according to data from Web3 wallet tracker DeBank.
The Ethereum ICO occurred in two primary stages. The first stage was the pre-sale, and between July 22 and Sept. 2, 2014 the sale of Ethereum tokens to new investors raised $18 million. The going exchange rate for the pre-sale was 1 BTC — for 2,000 ETH. The second stage was the official launch of the Ethereum blockchain which occurred on July 30, 2015. This meant that some investors waited more than a year to be able to redeem and use their ETH.
Dormant wallets with vast sums of crypto can awaken for a variety of reasons. Sometimes dormant wallets reawaken because they’ve been hacked. Other times, it’s simply because the owner may have forgotten about it and upon its re-discovery, have decided that it’s possibly a good time to sell.