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Whale reclaims $74M in ETH locked in ENS auction



After years of leaving 39,712 Ether (ETH) locked at the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) auction, a whale using the domain “darkmarket.eth” has reclaimed the digital assets and transferred over $119 million in ETH to a new wallet. 

Back in 2021, ENS founder and lead developer Nick Johnson tweeted a reminder for the owner of the darkmarket.eth domain to reclaim their ETH that was locked up in ENS deposits from its first two years. The ENS founder also provided a link that would allow those with ETH deposited in ENS auctions to reclaim their digital assets. 

However, despite the reminder, the funds were reclaimed only after two years and five months. On July 31, on-chain analytics firm Lookonchain flagged that the funds were reclaimed and darkmarket.eth’s 63,734 ETH, worth $119 million at the time of writing, was transferred to a different wallet.

According to Johnson, there are still over 100,000 deeds that remain unclaimed at ENS. The domain service developer highlighted that these are worth tens of thousands in ETH and urged users to check their addresses and claim their funds.

Related: Ethical hacker retrieves $5.4M for Curve Finance amid exploit

Meanwhile, at least two other dormant wallets worth millions of dollars have woken up this month. On July 19, a wallet containing pre-mined Ether worth $116 million moved its funds to a Kraken exchange address after eight years. The wallet was worth around $20 million when pre-mined, giving the owner a 5x return.

On July 24, a dormant wallet moved over $30 million in Bitcoin (BTC) after 11 years. The address acquired the assets in April 2012 when Bitcoin was worth only $4.92, meaning that the stash was only worth $5,108 back then.

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