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Bitstamp Audit Proves it was Behind $147 Million Mystery Bitcoin Wallet

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on March 6, 2014 at 17:41 GMT

Bitstamp, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges by volume, released the results of a financial audit on 6th March conducted in November and December of 2013.

The release comes one week after Bitstamp issued a joint statement together with other prominent bitcoin businesses calling for the industry to become more transparent in the wake of escalating issues at Mt. Gox.

Led by Firestartr.co, the audit required the creation of the largest single bitcoin wallet and transaction in history. In doing so, it also validated Bitstamp's internal auditing practices.

It read:

"The report identified that Bitstamp held 100% of validated BTC balance and USD funds. No material issues were raised as a consequence of the investigations."

CEO Nejc Kodrič spoke to CoinDesk about the news, indicating the audit will become a regular routine for his company, saying: "Future audits will be conducted quarterly with results published on the Bitstamp website."

Kodrič also projected this process would "raise the bar" for other exchanges to follow suit.

$147m mystery transfer solved

Notably, the audit also confirmed that Bitstamp was the entity behind the transfer of 194,933 BTC into a single bitcoin wallet back in November.

At the time, the transaction, which represented 1.6% of all bitcoins, sparked widespread speculation in the industry, including claims that the real Satoshi Nakamoto was behind the transfer.

Bitstamp was suggested as a possible originator of the transaction, though Kodrič declined to comment to CoinDesk on the rumours at the time.

First audit of many

The release of the audit as part of rolling process is also noteworthy as it could help set a new precedent for bitcoin businesses, becoming a necessary part of proving legitimacy and increasing customer satisfaction.

Bitcoin wallet provider Coinkite released an audit on 24th February, stating at the time that it believed "web wallets, exchanges and websites holding your funds should provide proof of reserves".

Furthermore, the joint statement it issued in the wake of Mt. Gox was also signed by Jess Powell, CEO of Kraken; Bobby Lee, CEO of BTC China; Nicolas Cary, CEO of Blockchain.info; and Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle Internet Financial.

This statement suggests more audits from major bitcoin companies could be forthcoming as the industry looks to ease consumer concerns and remove long-held mysteries about how exchanges operate.

Image credit: Gold coins via Shutterstock

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