The elusive creator of the Bitcoin Network, Satoshi Nakamoto, is said to have a wealth of unspent coins. The question is: does he/she/they still have these coins under his/her/their control and what significance do they have?
Satoshi is reputed to have one million Bitcoins in their possession from pre-mining early days, but many commentators refute that Nakamoto still has access to these assets, with popular theories ranging from Nakamoto is dead, to these first coins that were mined were used for testing purposes and are lost forever.
We do know that it is possible to effectively destroy bitcoins by deleting the private keys to wallets or burning the coins by sending them to addresses where the funds are unspendable, but what is the likelihood that Satoshi went down this route and why would they do so?
So let’s assume that Nakamoto still has the keys to a million coins, we must ask ourselves why doesn’t he/she/they spend them and what would be the consequence of doing so.
If the biggest whale of the crypto world was to dump its million on the market at once we would see a market order imbalance and high volatility due to a lack of liquidity, creating a shallow market. The amount in these early wallets adds up to 6% of the current amount of Bitcoin in circulation and 4.76% of the total ever to be created (21 million). Moreover, we mustn’t forget the fork that created Bitcoin Cash means that Satoshi also has an additional 1 million BCH, implying a market value today of almost $5 billion ($4,605,710,000 in BTC + $333,950,692 in BCH = $4,939,660,692).
A complete selloff would undoubtedly create panic throughout the market since this could be perceived by crypto investors as a sign that the dormant founder has now lost confidence in cryptocurrencies; the same goes for small selloffs over a period of time. This may well destabilise the market all the way to collapse, but this hypothesis is difficult ...