Since its launch some 13 years ago, bitcoin has been distributed far and wide in millions of wallets. These Bitcoin wallets are owned by individuals, public companies, private entities, and even governments. Among these holders, some stand out for their large bitcoin holdings.
Read on to find out who owns the most bitcoins and how much they own.
Who owns the most Bitcoin in the world?
Large bitcoin holders with 1,000 or more BTC are known as whales. They can be individuals, companies, institutional investors and even countries. What follows is a list of the entities and individuals who own the most bitcoins.
Best known individual holders
Let’s take a look at the people who have the most bitcoins.
Satoshi Nakamoto (~1.1 million BTC)
Satoshi Nakamoto He was not only the founder of Bitcoin, but also the first miner to add transaction blocks to the Bitcoin blockchain. He mined approximately 22,000 blocks from January 3, 2009, until he left the project in 2011, acquiring 1.1 million BTC in exchange for his contribution. As of October 12, 2022, this amount is worth more than $21 billion. Satoshi’s bitcoin stash is stored in some 22,000 addresses. These coins have never been used except for various test transactions.
The Winklevoss Twins (70,000 BTC)
After settling a dispute with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in 2008 for $65 million, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss amassed vast wealth in crypto assets. They reportedly own 70,000 BTC and have invested in many crypto businesses through their venture capital firm, Winklevoss Capital. The twins have also invested in other cryptocurrencies besides bitcoin and established the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange in 2014. They were on the Forbes 2022 list of blockchain and crypto billionaires.
Tim Draper (29,000+ BTC)
Venture capitalist Tim Draper, known for his early investments in companies like Skype and Tesla, first bought bitcoin in 2012. This was followed by a purchase of 29,656 BTC for $18.7 million two years later through a bitcoin auction seized by US marshals. infamous dark web marketplace, Silk Road. Draper may have bought more BTC in subsequent years.
Michael Saylor (17,732 BTC)
Michael Saylor is a well-known Bitcoin maximalist. He will often be found posting bullish Bitcoin tweets or making headlines through his company MicroStrategy, which constantly buys bitcoin, even during crypto bear markets. However, on a personal note, Saylor is reported to own at least 17,732 bitcoins. american businessman revealed his personal bitcoin holdings in a November 2021 interview.
Many other people own a large amount of BTC but have not publicly disclosed the amounts. For example, this data from River Financial shows six unknown individuals with more than 49,000 BTC in their possession.
Top Companies Holding Bitcoin
Let’s take a look at the companies that hold the most bitcoins.
More than 20 public companies have added bitcoin (BTC) to their balances. Below are the top four headlines.
Micro Strategy (130,000 BTC)
microstrategy (MSTR) is a prolific buyer of bitcoins. Since making its first purchase in August 2020, the company can’t help but buy more. Based on purchase history at Buy Bitcoin Worldwide, MicroStrategy has made more than 20 bitcoin purchases, bringing its total holding to 130,000 BTC as of September 20, 2022. The company may have inspired other public companies to add BTC to their balances.
In its most recent purchase, MicroStrategy bought 301 BTC in September for $6 million despite the bear market. The average purchase price per coin was $30,623. Earlier that month, the company asked to sell $500 million worth of stock to buy more bitcoin.
Galaxy Digital Holdings (40,000 BTC)
digital galaxy (GLXY) is an investment management and financial services company that also participates in bitcoin mining. The company has 40,000 BTC in its holdings.
Voyager Digital Limited (12,260 BTC)
digital traveler (VYGVQ) may have held 12,260 BTC when it filed for bankruptcy in July 2022. Cryptocurrency exchange FTX will acquire the assets of the bankrupt crypto broker after winning a bid in late September 2022. Voyager aforementioned the bear market and the collapse of Three Arrows Capital as the reasons he filed for bankruptcy. Three Arrows had defaulted on a loan made by one of its subsidiaries.
Tesla, Inc. (10,725 BTC)
Tesla (TSLA) bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins in February 2021 (around 4,200 BTC), causing a lot of excitement in the crypto space. The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted “#bitcoin,” a post that resulted in a 17% increase in the price of the digital asset. Tesla also revealed plans to accept bitcoin as a form of payment.
However, the excitement of this news was short-lived because a few months later, Tesla discontinued car purchases with BTC. He said that he would resume BTC payments once renewable energy Bitcoin mining reached 50%. Additionally, he sold 75% of his bitcoin holdings during the 2022 cryptocurrency bear market, adding $936 million to his balance sheet. This move was contrary to Musk’s 2021 tweet that said, “Tesla will not sell Bitcoin.”
Other public companies that own bitcoin are world coinbaseArgo Blockchain PLC, Hut 8 Mining Corp, and Bitfarms Limited, among others.
Let’s take a look at the largest known bitcoin holders among private companies.
Mount Gox (141,686 BTC)
Mt. Gox was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges. It launched in 2010 and handled 70% of all global Bitcoin transactions when it ceased operations in early 2014. The Japanese exchange fell victim to several to hack attacks that led to the loss of user funds. The exchange filed for bankruptcy in April 2014.
A September 2022 announcement revealed that Mt. Gox customers are close to receiving a $3 billion bitcoin payment that will redistribute stolen funds. The now-defunct company reportedly owns 141,686 BTC.
Block.one (140,000 BTC)
Block.one is the company behind the EOS cryptocurrency (eos). The company was sued by investors in 2020, claiming that its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) was a security sale. It is also facing resistance from the EOS community, which believes that the company is no longer working for the benefit of the network. Block.one still owns 140,000 bitcoins.
The Tezos Foundation (17,500 BTC)
The Tezos Foundation is a Swiss-based entity that supports the Tezos protocol and ecosystem. He reportedly has approximately 17,500 BTC.
Countries and Governments
Some of the notable countries and governments that have allegedly amassed bitcoin holdings include the government of Ukraine (46,351 BTC), El Salvador (2,381 BTC), Finland (1,981 BTC), and the government of Georgia (66 BTC).
The 3 largest Bitcoin wallets
At the time of writing, more than 900,000 addresses had balances of 1 to 1,000,000 BTC, according to BitInfoCharts. Bitcoin Rich List.
As you can imagine, few addresses hold extremely large amounts of the digital currency. For example, there were only five addresses with BTC balances ranging from 100,000 to 1,000,000. These addresses represent 4.32% of bitcoins in circulation. As the number of bitcoins drops to 10,000, 1,000, 100, and 10, the number of addresses holding these balances increases, as shown in the table below.
Binance and Bitfinex have the largest Bitcoin wallets. One Binance cold wallet has 252,597 BTC while the other has 143,314 BTC. On the other hand, the Bitfinex cold wallet contains 168,010 BTC. Crypto exchanges may not necessarily own all of these coins because they also hold Bitcoin deposits from users. The three wallets hold 2.9% of the total circulating supply of Bitcoin. As of October 13, 2022, there were 19,177,431 BTC coins in circulation.
The total number of bitcoin wallets it is around 200 million, but this does not accurately reflect the number of Bitcoin owners, since a person or entity can have more than one wallet.
As a new or current Bitcoin investor, it is important to remember that the largest holders have built up their Bitcoin portfolios over time and may have had large amounts of capital at their disposal.
They may also have had the advantage of being early adopters, having had the opportunity to buy a large amount of bitcoin for a comparatively small amount of money in the early years of Bitcoin. So if you’re looking to build a great bitcoin investment position, it’s okay to take your time and remember to never invest what you can’t afford to lose.