A Bitcoiner claimed on November 27 to be the owner of the private keys to one of the first Bitcoin addresses. The address is that of a former miner who, on January 19, 2009 (just 10 days after the birth of Bitcoin), received 50 bitcoins (BTC) as a reward for his activity.
On the Bitcointalk forum, the community was asked if they could share their oldest Bitcoin addresses. This user, identified as OneSignature, shared an encrypted message with a private key corresponding to a public address from January 2009.
The user in question remains anonymous and, according to the forum, is a new account with very little activity. The address is empty, with no funds.
The reappearance of this address from the time when Satoshi Nakamoto was active has caused a stir. Some users began to speculate that the address may have belonged to Bitcoin’s creator or the network’s first miners. However, some doubted the credibility of the message encrypted by OneSignature, so the user re-shared another message, confirming ownership of the original address, on November 28.
The address was linked to Hal Finney
Given the number of questions this move raised, forum users took it upon themselves to investigate its possible origin. In a screenshot shared on the forum, corresponding to the wallet of Hal Finney, the first user to receive a transaction in bitcoins and who died in 2014, it can be seen that there is a link to the claimed address.
After receiving the funds in 2009, they remained “dormant” until 2011, when they were transferred, along with 2000 other BTC, to a single address.
When sending Bitcoin funds, the protocol allows you to send funds from different addresses to a single address. As long as you have the private keys.
The listing shows that some of the entries in the transaction match both one of the addresses identified as belonging to Finney and another from the OneSignature user. Thus, one might expect that the user could have access to the rest of the private keys in the listing and, perhaps, to Finney’s bitcoins.