According to the specialized website BitInfoCharts, there would be just over 4,000 addresses containing more than $10 million in Bitcoin.
The most influential Bitcoin addresses
252,597 Bitcoin, that’s how much the richest Bitcoin wallet would amount to, while the second richest address has just over 168,000. According to what are estimates compiled by experts, in fact, the largest holder of Bitcoin would be its mysterious inventor, who hides behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, who would be in possession of more than 1 million Bitcoin.
There are only five Bitcoin wallets with more than 100,000 BTC and, therefore, with a value of more than $2 billion. As is known, Bitcoin was created to have a limited supply of coins that will be equivalent to 21 million. The five richest wallets currently in circulation, collectively represent 4.08% of the total coins in circulation.
The amount of Bitcoin that each address layer holds relative to the entire Bitcoin supply fluctuates over time. The five largest BTC addresses, own a total of 778,627 BTC. The next 92 largest owners, ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 BTC, own a total of 2,169,396 BTC. These 97 richest addresses account for 14.15% of the total supply. Bitcoin addresses with 10,000 or more Bitcoin are referred to as whales by the crypto financial community.
Interestingly, from BitInfoCharts data, out of the five richest wallets, as many as three are deposited at the Binance exchange, and one the second largest at Bitfinex. It is very easy to guess that one of the three addresses may actually belong to the exchange’s founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Zhao’s net worth was about $96 billion in January 2022, although the Forbes ranking gives him “only” $65 billion, making him by far the richest person in the world in the cryptocurrency industry.
The alleged address belonging to the CEO of FTX and the following richest people
As for the second most substantial Bitcoin address, it is alleged to be deposited with the FTX exchange. It is hard not to think that it actually belongs to the billionaire and eclectic founder of the exchange itself, Sam Bankman-Fried, who has had a meteoric rise in his business and is now regarded as the second richest man in the world in the crypto industry. An honors graduate of the prestigious MIT in Boston, in 2019 he founded FTX, one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, and Forbes estimated his fortune to be worth about $26.5 billion in October 2021.
Two other billionaires who are very well known in the crypto world are the twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who with great foresight, turned the millions they earned from their lawsuit against Facebook and their former college colleague Zuckerberg, who was accused of stealing the idea of the social from them, into cryptocurrencies. They became the first billionaires in the cryptocurrency ecosystem after Bitcoin prices soared in late 2017. Forbes estimates their net worth at about $5 billion.
On the corporate side, on the other hand, it is now common knowledge that MicroStrategy is the company by far in possession of the largest amount of Bitcoin, just under 130,000 for a countervalue of more than $2.6 billion, although the market’s downturn is putting the company in serious trouble over a loan taken out specifically to buy Bitcoin, which could force it to a margin call.
Tesla’s Bitcoin holdings
Meanwhile, Tesla Inc. holds more than 10,800 BTC, which is the second largest amount of Bitcoin held by a single company, a 0.051% of the total BTC supply, after selling more than 31,000 BTC in the past few months. The third largest Bitcoin holding by a public company is Galaxy Digital Holdings, which owns 16,400 BTC.
Institutional investors in the crypto world
As for institutional investors, the largest holders of Bitcoin are undoubtedly ETFs. They own a total of 816,379 BTC, 3.88% of the total Bitcoin supply. The largest bitcoin ETF is Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which owns 654,600 BTC, or nearly 3.2% of the total supply. In total, ETFs, public and private companies own nearly 1.5 million BTC, more than 7% of the total supply.
Governments around the world also hold Bitcoin, totaling about 259,870 BTC, representing 1.23% of the total supply and exceeding the country’s own gold reserves. Reports state that Bulgaria holds more than 213,519 BTC and members of the Ukrainian government privately hold about 46,351 BTC. According to some estimates, the US government also holds about 70,000 Bitcoin, derived in part from seizures of cryptocurrencies used for illicit trafficking.