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Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and insider stories by TNW.

Bitcoin whale moved $212 million in cryptocurrency — for just $3.93

Eat it, central banks!

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An infamous Bitcoin BTC ‘whale’ has moved an enormous cryptocurrency fortune in a single transaction, and the network charged less than $4 in fees.

“Loaded” is an old-school investor famous for their posts on mainstay forum BitcoinTalk. They’ve held 40,000 BTC for years, and every so often, they move it around.

This time, the Bitcoin blockchain charged Loaded just 0.00074227 BTC ($3.93) to send $211.9 million worth of censorship-resistant digital money.

Loaded uses ‘SegWit’ Bitcoin address for cheap fees

Bitcoin’s price was still above $11,000 when Loaded moved 40,000 BTC ($435 million) in January 2018. Back then, they paid a slightly smaller fee of 0.0001 BTC ($1.09) for the transaction.

Seemingly, fees have increased since last year. In the case of Bitcoin, users decide their own network fees, unlike major payment networks like Visa and Mastercard that often charge set amounts to use their centralized systems.

Loaded’s Bitcoin address is actually a little bit special. It starts with “bc1,” which means it uses Segregated Witness (SegWit) technology.

SegWit stretches Bitcoin‘s ‘block size limit‘ from 1MB to around 4MB. This allows miners to fit more transactions into a single block, so more can be confirmed simultaneously.

For SegWit users, this makes for smaller fees, while Bitcoin‘s backlog of unconfirmed transactions shrinks as users (and wallets) adopt the scaling tech.

Still, this serves as a simple reminder: Bitcoin is truly a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” that allows hundreds of millions of dollars to be transferred without permission from anyone, and for just a couple of bucks at a time.

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Published May 2, 2019 — 09:55 UTC