A $10.9 billion reserve in Bitcoin shows that Satoshi is still the largest whale
1. August 2020
A recent report by blockchain analysis and tracking provider Whale Alert revealed that the miner known as Patoshi mined over USD 10.9 billion or 1,125,150 BTC during the early Bitcoin era to protect the network from a 51% attack.
Patoshi has been confirmed as the anonymous creator of Bitcoin known as Satoshi, and the first blocks mined by Patoshi also include the first BTC transaction to Hall Finney, a well-known developer and first contributor to Bitcoin.
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Whale Alert was able to reach this conclusion by reviewing previous research conducted by independent researcher and cryptographer Sergio Lerner. Lerner coined the term Patoshi mining when a cryptographic pattern that revealed most of Bitcoin’s early mining was performed by an individual with access to modified mining software.
In the table above, the pattern of Patoshi is displayed and reveals that the straight lines are using Bitcoin’s standard mining software and the „saw-shaped“ lines are attributed to Patoshi.
This same pattern allowed Whale Alert to discover that the Patoshi miner „adjusted his speed between blocks“ to keep the average blocking time at 0.6 blocks per 10 minutes.
Based on the patterns left by the miner in some of the code that is stored in each Bitcoin block, Whale Alert also concluded that this early Bitcoin mining operation was comprised of up to 48 computers, with one of them responsible for coordination.
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What makes Patoshi unique?
According to Whale Alert, there are two reasons to adjust the speed, either to keep the blocking time near the 10-minute mark or to protect the network from a 51% attack.
Satoshi kept his share of the hashrate at a constant 60% as the network grew, and a 51% attack was a big threat to Bitcoin at that time, as it has been to new crypto currencies in recent times.
It seems likely that Satoshi was trying to protect the Bitcoin network, but as he became less prone to malicious attacks, he reduced Patoshi’s block creation rate to 1 block per 10 minutes.
Blocks mined per 10 minutes per Patoshi chain
Many analysts believe that Satoshi stopped mining in the 54,316 block once he felt the network was sufficiently decentralized. However, there have been some irregularities in subsequent blocks that extend into May 2010 or block 112,500, but they cannot currently be confirmed as Patoshi or Satoshi.