Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin that was stolen during a hack of the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange in 2016 has moved for the first time.
Roughly 10,057 bitcoins ($633 million, £460m) were moved to dozens of unknown digital wallets on Wednesday, with the biggest single transaction amounting to around $78m.
The mysterious movement occurred within hours of bitcoin hitting a new all-time price high, with some analysts warning of market volatility if the large sums are cashed out.
The movement of funds was spotted by Whale Alert, a Twitter account that monitors large transactions of cryptocurrency on bitcoin’s public blockchain.
Bitcoin’s blockchain acts as an online ledger that records every single transaction, and is publicly available for anyone to view.
Despite the transparency of the network, anyone sending or receiving the funds are able to remain anonymous if they take certain precautions.
It means cryptocurrency can be tracked across the blockchain, but not necessarily traced back to an individual or organisation.
This has made bitcoin and other semi-anonymous cryptocurrencies a popular form of payment among cyber criminals and users of dark web markets.