3 years ago SegWit had its first transaction, where did it go?

On August 24, 2017, an update of the Bitcoin protocol called SegWit (Segregated Witness) had its first transaction in block number 481824. Coinfirm’s AML & Analytics Platform supports SegWit transactions so for the 3rd year anniversary we decided to take a deeper look at that first SegWit transaction and where it went.  

Pieter Wuille finished his work on SegWit in 2015 and two years later his work gave the potential possibility of modifying the signed transaction to the Bitcoin protocol. This is mainly why the effective block size is increased without having to increase the bitcoin block size limit thanks to downloading the signature data from Bitcoin transactions (digital signatures can take up to 65% of the block). In practice, this allows more transactions to be stored in one block, thereby increasing the throughput of the entire network. Digital cryptographic signatures, which take up the most space, are kicked off the block and their size does not count towards SegWit compatible block size, with the added benefit that it supports the creation of second layer protocols such as lightning web.

When we take a look at the first SegWit transaction, in the transaction hash:(f91d0a8a78462bc59398f2c5d7a84fcff491c26ba54c4833478b202796c8aafd) you will find an encoded sentence in Hexadecimal format. After decryption the message (42697462616e6b20496e632e204a6170616e20737570706f7274732053656757697421) states “Bitbank Inc. Japan supports SegWit!” Coinfirm’s analysis using our AML & Analytics Platform shows that the address beginning with 3DTK… is the first address ever that sent bitcoin to a SegWit address. This SegWit address to which the funds were sent is owned by Bitbank and we assume that the 3DTK… address is also related to Bitbank due to various aspects including the fact that the transaction consisted of a message proclaiming Bitbank’s support for SegWit.

Since its launch in 2017, the popularity of SegWit has been rising. With the rise of its popularity more and more blockchain related service providers and leading companies in their industry segment such as Coinfirm are providing the capability to service SegWit transactions.