Who Owns Bitcoin: Top Bitcoin Holders

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Published 24 April 2024
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Who Owns Bitcoin: Top Bitcoin Holders

Anonymity is one of the critical characteristics of cryptocurrencies. The example of Bitcoin has demonstrated how a digital currency can be created that bypasses traditional financial institutions and provides its users with complete financial freedom. However, even though the blockchain is fundamentally transparent, some remain in the shadows. In this article, we will find out who holds the most Bitcoin.

Who Are the Bitcoin Billionaires (BTC Whales)

Whales are people who owns the most Bitcoin. They are usually independent investors or organizations that control vast amounts of Bitcoins. Whales can significantly impact the cryptocurrency market as they are the largest holders of Bitcoin. Many of them remain in the shadows, preferring to remain anonymous, but their actions and decisions can have severe consequences for the price and stability of the coin. The role of whales in the cryptocurrency food chain is about the same as the role of whales in the wild. They are the apex predators of the chain, controlling vast amounts of cryptocurrency assets and significantly impacting the entire ecosystem. Their actions and decisions significantly affect cryptocurrencies’ price, stability, and liquidity.

How Many Bitcoins Do You Need to Become a Billionaire?

To become a Bitcoin billionaire, you must own one billion US dollars worth of this cryptocurrency. The exact number of coins required to achieve this goal depends on the current price of Bitcoin on the market. For example, if the cost is $70,000 per Bitcoin, it would take 14,286 Bitcoins ($70,000 × 14,285.7 = $1,000,000,000) to reach a fortune of one billion US dollars.

How Many People Own 1 Bitcoin?

According to statistics, 1 BTC is held by 1,012,971 wallets at the time of writing. Bitcoins owner with 1 BTC are called “full bitcoiners” in cryptocurrency circles. However, remembering that one Bitcoin address only sometimes belongs to one person is worth remembering. That is, 1,012,971 wallets do not mean 1,012,971 people. Some people may control multiple Bitcoin wallets. Addresses can also be associated with groups of people or companies.

It is important to note that those who owns the bitcoins more than 1 BTC represent approximately 2.1% of all non-zero Bitcoin addresses (addresses containing the minimum possible number of Bitcoins). The remaining addresses either contain no cryptocurrency or store less than 1 BTC. This shows the uneven distribution of wealth in the Bitcoin network, despite the principles of freedom and decentralization at its core. So, let’s take a look at who has the most Bitcoins.

Individuals with the Largest Bitcoin Holdings

Satoshi Nakamoto

The enigmatic creator of Bitcoin remains the one who has highest Bitcoins. TheBitcoin ownerhas a total of approximately 1.1 million BTC. This impressive capital resulted from his early Bitcoin mining efforts when each block earned him 50 BTC. Thousands of Bitcoins that Nakamoto earned remain dormant, scattered across thousands of wallets. If any of these coins are moved, it could cause unrest throughout the cryptocurrency community and trigger cryptocurrency volatility.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss

If you google “who has more bitcoins” The Winklevoss twins will be first in the list. They are unusual among most affluent people. In addition to being the largest holders of Bitcoin, they are also successful athletes. In their youth, they practiced pair rowing. The brothers have competed in many major competitions, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In the book “Bitcoin Billionaires,” Ben Mezrich wrote that the Winklevoss brothers learned about what is Bitcoin in Ibiza and decided to invest in it. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss bought BTC when its price was below $10. The bitcoin millionaire is said to have acquired the asset gradually, and within a few months, they had 120,000 BTC. Surprisingly, the brothers still needed to start selling it even when Bitcoin’s exchange rate was $12,952 per coin. It could be challenging to stay calm under market pressure, especially for someone who holds most bitcoins. This investment approach demonstrates a successful combination of DCA and HOLD Bitcoins strategy.

The Winklevoss brothers are the largest holders of Bitcoins after the owner of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto. According to Forbes data, the brothers own approximately 70,000 BTC at the time of this writing. Let’s continue exploring the bitcoin rich list.

Michael Saylor

Michael Saylor is an American entrepreneur and founder of MicroStrategy, known for his investments in Bitcoin. He is also on the list of those with the most significant number of Bitcoins. In August 2020, MicroStrategy announced a $250 million Bitcoin purchase to reserve the company’s assets, and then in September and December of the same year for another $175 million. Saylor made these moves to protect the company from inflation and preserve capital for the long term. As a result, MicroStrategy has become one of the largest bitcoin holders among corporations. Saylor has also been active in making public statements supporting bitcoin and its role in the global economy and hosting events and educational programs on the topic.

In 2020, Michael stated that he walked 17,732 BTC.

Tim Draper

Tim Draper is an American venture capitalist and investor. He is famous for his successful investments in technology startups and cryptocurrency projects, and is also on the list of top 10 bitcoin holders. He is the founder of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), which has invested in companies like Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, and SpaceX in the past. Tim Draper is also known for his support of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Tim has approximately 29,000 BTC in his wallets.

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Jed McCaleb

Jed McCaleb is a computer programmer and one of the founders of the Ripple (XRP) cryptocurrency. His real name is Chris Larsen, but he is known in the cryptocurrency community by the pseudonym Jed McCaleb. In 2012, McCaleb co-created Ripple’s progenitor, the RipplePay payment system, with Ryan Fugger and Arthur Britto.

Jed McCaleb’s fortune is estimated at $2.9 billion. The exact number of bitcoins is unknown.

Brian Armstrong

Armstrong is a successful American entrepreneur known for his views on the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Brian completes the list of those who has most bitcoins. He actively advocates their spread and application in various spheres, from finance to social media. He is one of the rare industry representatives who do not work for income. Brian is a valid Bitcoin fanatic whose interests extend beyond business. He regularly speaks at conferences, seminars, and forums.

Brian Armstrong’s net worth is $10.9 billion.

Jack Dorsey

American entrepreneur and software developer best known as the founder of Twitter (X after rebranding) and Block. He is also known for his active participation and support in the world of cryptocurrencies. Dorsey also advocates for the decentralization of the internet and the development of blockchain technology.

As of the end of 2023, Block had about 8,038 BTC for investment purposes. Jack Dorsey’s fortune is estimated at $4.8 billion.

Others

The list of the most prominent fans of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin includes Elon Musk, Paul Tujones, Mike Novogratz, Mark Cabanis, Gavin Andresen, Roger Ver, Barry Silbert, and Charlie Shrem. How many people own Bitcoin? Find the answer with our article. Let’s look at the companies.

Publicly Traded Companies with the Largest Bitcoin Holdings

Tesla (TSLA)

Tesla is famous not only for its cars, but for the company who owns most bitcoin. One of the first major companies to announce its investment in Bitcoin. In February 2021, Tesla announced the acquisition of $1.5 billion of Bitcoins as part of its diversification strategy. This garnered significant attention from the cryptocurrency community and caused the price of Bitcoin to rise further.

MicroStrategy (MSTR)

MicroStrategy is an American company that specializes in providing analytics and software solutions for businesses. For many years, It has been a leader in data analytics and business intelligence, providing innovative technology solutions for various industries and businesses.

In 2020, MicroStrategy announced a strategic decision to utilize Bitcoin as its primary backup asset. Since then, MicroStrategy has made several major Bitcoin purchases.

Hut 8 Mining Corp (HUT)

A Canadian company specializing in Bitcoin mining and other cryptocurrencies.

Hut 8’s core business is mining, which uses the power of computing systems (ASIC miners) to perform complex mathematical tasks. The company operates several large data centers in Canada.

Marathon Digital Holdings

An American company engaged in cryptocurrency mining, Marathon Digital Holdings specializes in Bitcoin mining. Founded in 2010 as Marathon Patent Group, the company then moved into cryptocurrency mining and changed its name to Marathon Digital Holdings in 2021.

Marathon Digital Holdings has approximately 14,025 BTC in capital.

Galaxy Digital Holdings

A large financial company specializing in digital assets, blockchain technology, and investments in cryptocurrency projects, founded in 2018 by former Fortress Investment Group fund manager and bitcoin bull Michael Novogratz, the company invests in a wide range of cryptocurrency assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins, as well as startups and businesses developing innovative blockchain solutions.

It owns approximately 8,100 BTC.

Others

The list of companies that own Bitcoin includes Riot Platforms, Hive Blockchain, CleanSpark Inc, NEXON Co Ltd, and Exodus Movement Inc.

Private Companies with the Largest Bitcoin Holdings

Block.one

The company behind the creation of the blockchain platform EOS.IO. It has held one of the largest Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in history, raising over $4 billion in investments. While the exact figures of their Bitcoin holdings are unknown, the company is known for its significant investments in various digital assets, including Bitcoin.

Block.one owns approximately 140,000 BTC.

The Tezos Foundation

Tezos is a blockchain platform designed to develop and implement smart contracts. The Tezos Foundation is responsible for managing the project’s development and funding. Although the foundation is actively investing in developing the Tezos ecosystem, the exact figures of its bitcoin holdings have not been published.

Tether Holdings LTD

Tether is the company behind the creation of the USDT stablecoin. Although Tether owns other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin, it is one of the largest holders of Bitcoin. Because USDT is often used to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges, Tether owns approximately 55,000 BTC to provide liquidity.

Stone Ridge Holdings Group

Stone Ridge Holdings Group is a financial company that has invested heavily in bitcoin. In October 2020, the company announced that it had 10,000 bitcoins in its portfolio, which was over $100 million at the time. Stone Ridge Holdings Group continues to actively invest in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, to diversify its investment portfolio.

Which Government Owns the Most Bitcoin?

United States

The U.S. government is one of the largest owners of Bitcoin in the world. Digital assets stored in the wallets of U.S. departments and agencies are valued at more than $5 billion, The Wall Street Journal writes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) owns approximately 174,000 seized Bitcoins, which can officially be sold at auction. The U.S. Marshals Service can also sell confiscated Bitcoins. In this way, more than 185,000 BTC have been sold at auction.

Selling for Bitcoins is generally significantly developed in the U.S. It can be used to buy subscriptions, insurance, airline tickets, and even real estate.

El Salvador

In 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as a legal means of payment and announced the acquisition of $150 million BTC.

Ukraine

Cryptocurrency plays a vital role in Ukraine’s defense. Since the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has received support through donations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from people worldwide. More than $100 million has already been raised through the Whitepay platform. You can donate 140+ digital assets.

However, at the time of writing, the Ukrainian government still needs to start using cryptocurrencies for investment. Like many other countries, Ukraine is working on legislative initiatives regarding cryptocurrencies. While no laws regulate cryptocurrency, a Bitcoin tax is levied according to general rules.

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Indirect Bitcoin Exposure

Indirect Bitcoin investing is a method in which investors seek to generate income from the price of Bitcoin without buying it directly. They may choose this method to reduce risk and diversify their portfolio by including a variety of Bitcoin-related assets. One such tool is Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which can consist of stocks and other assets that reflect the price of Bitcoin.

ETFs and other funds hold 979,837 BTC, which is 4.66% of Bitcoin’s total volume. One of the largest holders in this category is Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which owns approximately 643,572 BTC. It’s also worth noting that BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust manages about 243,126 BTC.

ETFs and public and private companies own nearly 1.5 million BTC, representing more than 7% of the total supply.

What Does Institutional Bitcoin Ownership Mean?

When large financial institutions, companies, investment funds, or other organizations own bitcoin in significant amounts, this can be called institutional ownership. This differs from individual Bitcoin ownership, where individuals or small groups buy and hold Bitcoin as a personal investment.

Institutional ownership of Bitcoin has become more common in recent years as the cryptocurrency has become an increasingly widely recognized and accepted type of asset. Many large companies, investment funds, and banks have begun looking at bitcoin to diversify their portfolios and protect against inflation. These institutions may purchase bitcoins as a long-term investment or for short-term trading to profit from price changes.

Top 3 Largest Bitcoin Wallets

Blockchain technology has gifted us with the ability to view any transactions and wallets for cryptocurrency. We offer a look at the most prominent cryptocurrency wallets with the biggest amount of bitcoin at the time of writing:

  1. bc1ql49ydapnjafl5t2cp9zqpjwe6pdgmxy98859v2 136 295 BTC
  2. bc1qazcm763858nkj2dj986etajv6wquslv8uxwczt 94 643 BTC
  3. 1FeexV6bAHb8ybZjqQMjJrcCrHGW9sb6uF 79 957 BTC

Why Is the Distribution of Bitcoin Ownership Important?

The Bitcoin blockchain is not subject to any government, bank, or corporation. Let’s look at the example of Satoshi Nakamoto: he distributed his coins to multiple wallets, which helped decentralize ownership and increased the network’s security. Imagine if the most significant Bitcoin wallet dictated the rules of the market. This could lead to monopolization and risk the integrity and independence of the network. Monopolization could also lead to possible price manipulation and control of the network, which undermines the principles of Bitcoin. Distributing ownership of Bitcoin among multiple participants in the network contributes to its resilience and protection from potential threats.

How Does Bitcoin’s Distribution Compare to Ethereum?

Despite such a phenomenon as Bitcoin’s dominance, the emergence of new cryptocurrencies and technologies such as Ethereum and decentralized finance (DeFi) raises questions about the future of its position.

On Etherscan, we can see that the top ETH wallet of the official Ethereum network, Beacon Chain, holds the top spot. Anyone who invests 32 ETH in the Beacon Chain can become a validator. At the time of writing, the Beacon Chain address contains 43,468,268 ETH.

A potential concern regarding the distribution of Ethereum is related to voting rights. Since validators can now vote on blockchain proposals using their pledged ETH, some fear that large staking pools will dictate the future direction of the Ethereum blockchain. It’s also important to consider that Ethereum holders may own other digital assets, such as holding some ERC-20 based token in their portfolio.

Despite Bitcoin’s dominance, there is an altcoin index that reflects the relative performance of alternative cryptocurrencies compared to Bitcoin over some time.

What Gives Bitcoin Its Value?

  1. Decentralization: Bitcoin is powered by blockchain technology, which allows it to function without central management or control by the government or financial institutions. Who owns fiat currency? The issuing states. Who is the owner of Bitcoins? No one, in the context of centralization. This makes it resistant to censorship and manipulation;
  2. Limited supply: Bitcoin has a limited supply of only 21 million coins. Every four years, there is an event known as halving, which reduces the reward to miners for mining the cryptocurrency;
  3. Trust and acceptance: Every year, Bitcoin becomes more widely recognized and accepted as a medium of exchange and store of value. The increased confidence of users and institutional investors also contributes to its growing value;
  4. Innovation and Applications: Bitcoin is a pioneer in digital currency and blockchain technology. Its technological innovation and potential for a wide range of applications add value.

How Many Bitcoins Are in Circulation?

The cryptocurrency’s market capitalization determines the exact number of Bitcoins in circulation. This measures the total value of all existing Bitcoins on the market at a given moment. There is $1.39 trillion BTC in circulation at the time of writing.

What happens after All the Bitcoins Are Mined?

When all 21 million Bitcoins have been mined, the mining process will stop, and the block reward will drop to zero. This may affect the miners, but the network will continue to function as the miners will still be rewarded with transaction fees.

Conclusion

A study of the top bitcoin holders, the role of whales, and bitcoin-owning states provides insight into the depth of the influence of cryptocurrency in today’s world. The largest Bitcoin wallet, though, influences the market, but due to Bitcoin’s decentralization, Bitcoin has little control over it. An analysis of bitcoin ownership by independent investors and nations demonstrates the diversity of interests and strategies regarding this digital currency. More and more countries continue recognizing it and using it as a reserve currency. It’s hard to say definitively what is the country who owns most of the bitcoins. Still, one thing is for sure: the influence of this cryptocurrency has expanded to such an extent that the term “digital gold” is becoming increasingly relevant. Bitcoin continues to attract both seasoned investors and newcomers alike. It is important to note that regardless of whether a person uses Bitcoin faucets or already manages a significant capital, this only confirms its wide acceptance and demand.