UPDATE: Additional blockchain analysis indicates this purchase was the result of a for-profit „sat hunting operation“ that was programmatically buying and withdrawing Bitcoin from Binance. The article has been revised accordingly.

One of just four rare „Epic Sats,“ as defined the Ordinals protocol, was discovered and withdrawn from the Bitcoin and crypto exchange Binance today.

These special satoshis, which do not exist natively on Bitcoin, but can be identified by a companion piece of software, are considered some of the most scarce and significant in Bitcoin’s history. While Bitcoin has a hard limit of 2.1 quadrillion satoshis, or 21 million BTC, the protocol does not track them individually. 

This sequencing is only identified in the Ordinals protocol, a top-level meta-protocol built on Bitcoin.

The term „Epic Sat“ refers to the first satoshi of each Bitcoin halving era, which occurs about every four years. Recently, the first Epic Sat from the 2024 halving sold for over $2 million at auction, sparking intrigue around these rare units.

In this case, the Binance user withdrew a transaction containing the Epic Sat from the 420,000th Bitcoin block in 2016. Binance failed to identify and retain the UTXO that contained the valuable satoshi for itself, representing a potential multi-million dollar oversight.

While initially believed to be a single exchange user, analysis by Mononaut on X reveals the acquirer was likely a sophisticated operation that was exploring Binance’s inventory for UTXOs that may link to rare sats on Ordinals.

Blockchain analysis shows this UTXO, categorized by Ordinals as containing sat number „1575000000000000,“ moved to the user’s wallet after they bought and transferred bitcoin. 

Its rarity compares to winning the lottery, as only four such „Epic Sats“ exist until now. (In total, 34 will be released over subsequent halvings). 

The wallet address that now contains the UTXO that points to the coveted satoshi is bc1ptjcsnnycr52ccwg4mvvsczkwzvc0qydlxw6q7pcelxkx8equk3asduuz86. 

Market observers will now doubtless wait to see whether the holder keeps the Epic Sat for themselves or sells it off, potentially for millions.

Sleuths can verify the transaction by referencing Ordinals indexing tools like Ord.io and Ordinals.com. These identify the satoshi’s number and position in the chain, allowing its location to be traced via an explorer-like Mempool.space.

While controversial, these Epic Sats create profound digital scarcity akin to rare collectables. The Binance user’s good fortune may ignite further interest and intensify the search for the remaining two Epic Sats from 2012 and 2020.

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