Twitter user @IamNomad recently discovered a rather interesting revelation regarding Bitcoin Cash (BCH) transactions: it would appear that over the past month one single address has been responsible for more than half of all transactions on the network.
The BCH address in question suddenly spring into life on April 4th and has quickly racked up an astonishing 666,000 transactions since (likely far more by the time you read this). The address appears to be sending and receiving tiny increments of BCH, leading some to believe it could be linked to some kind of new decentralized app (dApp) built on the Bitcoin Cash network.
However, a further investigation by Twitter user @edoera discovered that the transactions are all simply empty ‘opretruns’ – a type of transaction used to embed data into a blockchain rather than a financial transaction. This would mean they don’t represent actual value and therefore are unlikely to be linked to actual user interactions.
Organized Pump ‘n dump?
A further report on the strange activity by market analysis blog Zero Hedge surmises that the address could be specifically enacted in order to create the false impression of high activity on the Bitcoin Cash network.
A few days before the address came online, Bitcoin Cash shot up in value by over 100%, going from $167.19 to $342.14 in less than 48 hours. Directly after this meteoric rise, the address suddenly began conducting thousands of transactions a minute. Could this be an automated bot account designed to make the network look busier than it is to attract unsuspecting buyers for an organized dump?
Simply a gaming dApp?
It would appear that the real reason behind the activity is simply a bizarre amount of transactions being created by a game. Recently, a crypto-based game called craft.cash was released in which users can build their own 3-dimensional world directly on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Knowledgable users replying to a Reddit thread exploring the anomaly allege that this game is the real reason for the high activity.
Similar to Minecraft, the game is a ‘voxel drawing program’ in which users built a virtual landscape within a grid and rack up tiny transactions on the blockchain with every 51 blocks they add. While this would mean the activity is clearly innocent in this context, it does reveal how the transparent nature of blockchain transactions can often be mistaken as indicative of either increased adoption or manipulation.