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Who Owns the Most Bitcoin?

With the price of Bitcoin being in the thousands of dollars, even 1 BTC can make a person’s life much easier. Just like with fiat money, however, there are people who own a lot more than that: Bitcoin billionaires and millionaires. In this article, I will provide a thorough analysis of how Bitcoin is valued, take a look at its supply and distribution, and, most importantly, answer the burning question: Who owns the most Bitcoin?

Who Owns the Most BTC: Key Takeaways

Who has the Most Bitcoin in the World?

Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, is listed as the top individual BTC holder. Nakamoto reportedly holds about 1.1 million BTC across approximately 22,000 Bitcoin wallet addresses.

What Country Has the Most Bitcoin?

The government that owns the most Bitcoins is likely the United States. The country is thought to be the leading holder of Bitcoin among governmental entities, possessing, according to various estimations, a substantial Bitcoin reserve of over 210,000 BTC.

Public Company with the Most Bitcoin

MicroStrategy, under the leadership of Michael Saylor, is a public company with the largest Bitcoin holding. As of 2024, MicroStrategy’s total Bitcoin holdings amount to over 321,000 BTC coins.

How Many Bitcoin Holders Are There?

According to the Triple-A 2024 Cryptocurrency Ownership Report, there are over 560 million cryptocurrency users worldwide. It is hard to say how many of these users are specifically Bitcoin owners, but it is likely that the BTC ownership rate is high, as it is the world’s biggest and most popular cryptocurrency.While the exact number of Bitcoin holders is unknown, it is clear that the number has been growing steadily in recent years. This is unsurprising given the increasing popularity of the currency, as well as its rising value. With more and more people understanding the potential of Bitcoin, the number of holders is likely to continue to grow in the future.

Who Are the Bitcoin Billionaires?

As of 2024, there are 17 crypto billionaires — individuals who have amassed immense wealth through their involvement in the cryptocurrency market. Coming from diverse backgrounds, these billionaires are associated with various aspects of the industry.

Additionally, approximately 36,000 individuals are estimated to be Bitcoin millionaires. However, determining the precise number is challenging due to the anonymous nature of Bitcoin addresses and the cryptocurrency’s inherent price volatility.

The term “whales” refers to large Bitcoin holders who possess 1,000 BTC or more. This can be people, businesses, institutions, countries… The individuals with the most BTC holdings are listed below.

How Much Bitcoin Does Satoshi Nakamoto Hold?

  • ~1.1 million BTC
Satoshi Nakamoto is the biggest Bitcoin owner in the world.

In addition to creating Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto was the first miner to add blocks of transactions to the blockchain. From January 3, 2009, until their departure from the project in 2011, Satoshi mined almost 22,000 blocks, earning 1.1 million BTC in return, making them the largest holder of the world’s leading cryptocurrency. An estimated 22,000 addresses are used to house Satoshi’s Bitcoin hoard.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss

  • 70,000 BTC
Winklevoss twins

The twins purportedly hold 70,000 BTC, but their substantial Bitcoin holdings are not all there is. The Winklevoss brothers have invested in other cryptocurrencies and numerous cryptocurrency start-ups and launched the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini in 2014. They appeared on Forbes’ crypto billionaires list in 2022.

Tim Draper

  • 29,000 BTC or more
Tim Draper

Tim Draper, a venture capitalist well-known for his initial investments in start-ups like Skype and Tesla, made his first Bitcoin purchase in 2012. In 2014, he bought 29,656 BTC for $18.7 million when U.S. Marshals auctioned off Bitcoin seized from the notorious dark web marketplace Silk Road.

Michael J. Saylor

  • 17,732 BTC
Michael J. Saylor

The American entrepreneur frequently tweets in favor of Bitcoin and makes the headlines for his business, MicroStrategy, which consistently purchases Bitcoin — even during bear markets. Besides, Saylor is one of the biggest Bitcoin whales and apparently possesses at least 17,732 BTC himself — he disclosed the amount of Bitcoin he owned in his 2021 interview.

Brian Armstrong

  • Exact number of BTC he owns is unknown

Although we do not know how much Bitcoin it is exactly that Brian Armstrong owns, the number is likely to be high. As the CEO of Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, Armstrong managed to amass a large net worth by working with cryptocurrencies — at the time of writing, it was estimated to equal over $10B.

Others

CEO of the Digital Currency Group Barry Silbert is also among people rumored to be in possession of significant Bitcoin holdings. The exact number of BTC he owns is unknown. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, involved in the recent epic FTX exchange collapse, also used to be on the list of prominent Bitcoin whales.

Check this out: 20 crypto influencers you should know.

Top Companies Holding Bitcoin

Although a sizable portion of Bitcoin is owned by individuals, both public and private companies embrace this digital currency. Companies have the option to use their corporate funds, known as treasuries, to invest in Bitcoin. To hedge against inflation and negative-yielding bonds, several businesses have chosen to invest in Bitcoin and other digital assets.

Over 1.5 million BTC, or over 7% of the total Bitcoin supply, is held by ETFs, public enterprises, and private businesses combined.

Public Companies

MicroStrategy

  • ~214,000 BTC

Michael Saylor’s Microstrategy is a public corporation with the largest amount of Bitcoin. Approximately 1.02% of the total supply, or more than 214,000 BTC, has been obtained by Microstrategy since it first started to purchase Bitcoin in August 2020. Other publicly traded companies may have taken their cue from MicroStrategy and added Bitcoin to their balance sheets.

Galaxy Digital Holdings

  • ~17,500 BTC

Financial services and investment management company Galaxy Digital also engages in Bitcoin mining. The corporation currently holds over 17K BTC.

Marathon Digital Holdings

  • ~13,700 BTC

Marathon Digital Holdings, a prominent digital asset firm, specializes in mining Bitcoin and holds it as a key investment. The company is recognized as one of the largest in Bitcoin mining efficiency and technology in North America. Besides, it is a major Bitcoin holder among public companies. Marathon focuses on turning energy into economic value while supporting the security and update of the Bitcoin ledger.

Tesla, Inc.

  • ~10,500 BTC

Tesla purchased around 4,200 BTC in February 2021 but sold 75% of the purchased Bitcoin during the crypto bear market in 2022. This move didn’t sit right with those who remember the tweet Elon Musk made in 2021 saying: “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin.”

Others

Other publicly traded companies, including Bitfarms Limited, Voyager Digital Limited, Argo Blockchain PLC, Hut 8 Mining Corp., and Coinbase Global, also own Bitcoin.If you find this article entertaining, you might also like our list of public companies using blockchain technology.

Private Companies

Around 316,067 BTC, or 1.5% of the total supply of Bitcoin, is held by private companies.

Mt. Gox

  • 141,686 BTC

The largest private Bitcoin holder is the defunct Mt. Gox exchange, with 141,686 BTC, or 0.7% of the total.

Block.one

  • 140,000 BTC

Block.one is the organization that created the EOS crypto.

Tether Holdings LTD

  • 61,000 BTC

The creator of the USDT stablecoin reported controlling about 61,000 BTC in their Q3 2023 reserve attestation.

Stone Ridge Holdings Group

  • 10,000 BTC

The American private company owns around 10,000 BTC.

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Indirect Bitcoin Exposure: What Are the Biggest Bitcoin ETFs?

For investors looking to obtain exposure to Bitcoin without actually purchasing it, indirect Bitcoin exposure is one investing strategy. Some investors think that diversifying their holdings across a wide range of Bitcoin-related assets may lower their risk. Bitcoin ETFs attempt, albeit imperfectly, to track the Bitcoin price. Stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds are applied as traditional techniques of indirect investing. Equities and other Bitcoin-related assets may be included in a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), creating a more diverse portfolio.

  • iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT). Amount of BTC owned: Approximately 19,429 BTC
  • Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Amount of BTC owned: Approximately 22.7 billion USD worth of Bitcoin
  • Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC). Amount of BTC owned: Approximately 4.7 billion USD worth of Bitcoin
  • ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB). Amount of BTC owned: Approximately 1.6 billion USD worth of Bitcoin
  • Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust (BITB). Amount of BTC owned: Approximately 1.2 billion USD worth of Bitcoin

These ETFs highlight the surging global interest in Bitcoin investment, with substantial holdings and significant potential for growth, especially if a U.S. ETF is launched.

Governments That Own the Most Bitcoin

As of the latest available information in 2024, the United States is considered to be the country that owns the most Bitcoin — according to various reports, it holds over 210K BTC. This accumulation is primarily due to legal seizures rather than direct purchases.

Golden Bitcoin coin
US government owns over 210K BTC as of 2024.

What Does Institutional Bitcoin Ownership Mean?

In general, it’s not a big deal if countries and institutions possess a major portion of Bitcoin. Moreover, the use of Bitcoin increases as businesses like Tesla invest in it. In fact, it’s conceivable that as more institutions turn to Bitcoin, its usage as a conventional currency — with fewer restrictions — will grow.

Top 3 Largest Bitcoin Wallets

There are around 200 million Bitcoin wallets in existence, although these statistics do not accurately represent the actual number of Bitcoin owners because a single person or organization may own many wallet addresses.

According to BitInfoCharts’ Bitcoin Rich list, there are 1,019,738 addresses with balances of 1–1,000,000 BTC at the time of writing this article.Two of the three largest Bitcoin wallets are those of Binance and Bitfinex crypto exchanges. 248,597 BTC are stored in Binance’s cold wallet. Additionally, the 4th largest Bitcoin wallet — which also belongs to Binance — has 104,591 BTC, making the exchange the biggest BTC holder in the crypto market. Bitfinex’s cold Bitcoin wallet has 180,010 BTC. Due to the fact that they also store customers’ Bitcoin deposits, the cryptocurrency exchanges may not actually be the sole owners of all these currencies. 2.9% of the total circulating supply of Bitcoin is split amongst the top three wallets.

Top 10 biggest Bitcoin wallet addresses
Biggest Bitcoin addresses chart. Source: BitInfoCharts

What Gives Bitcoin Its Value?

As you are probably aware, Satoshi Nakamoto had the idea of Bitcoin and envisioned it being a more open, democratic, and popular alternative to fiat money in the future. But what exactly is Bitcoin, and what gives it its value?

Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer network that allows users to send and receive payments without the need for a third-party intermediary such as a bank or a credit card company. Transactions are recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain — a distributed ledger — and each transaction is verified by Bitcoin miners who use powerful computer rigs to solve complex mathematical problems.

Since Bitcoin is not regulated by any central authority, it is largely immune to government interference or manipulation. This decentralization is one of the key features that give Bitcoin its value. Another factor that contributes to Bitcoin’s value is its limited supply: there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins in existence. As demand for Bitcoin increases, so does its price. Thanks to its unique properties, Bitcoin has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional fiat currencies.

BTC is often referred to as “digital gold” because it shares many of the same properties as physical gold. For example, BTC is scarce, durable, and divisible. Like gold, BTC is also a popular investment choice because it can serve as a hedge against inflation. However, BTC has several advantages over gold, which makes it even more attractive as an investment.

First and foremost, BTC is much more portable than gold, making it easy to store and transport. In addition, BTC is digital, which means that it can be easily divided into smaller units and bought or sold in fractions. Finally, BTC is global, meaning it can be bought and sold anywhere in the world without the need for conversion. As a result of these advantages, BTC is emerging as a popular alternative to gold.

Bitcoin on a pile of gold, symbolizing a store of value purpose of BTC
Is Bitcoin the new gold?

The United States has the largest number of Bitcoin holders – 46 million

The United States has emerged as the frontrunner in terms of the largest number of Bitcoin holders, with a staggering 46 million individuals actively engaging in cryptocurrency investments. Several key factors contribute to the United States’ dominance in Bitcoin ownership.

Firstly, the United States boasts a technologically advanced society with widespread access to internet services and digital platforms. This fosters a conducive environment for Bitcoin adoption and trading, enabling millions of Americans to enter the crypto space.

Secondly, the United States is home to numerous cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms that facilitate easy access to Bitcoin. These exchanges, such as Coinbase and Binance US, provide a user-friendly interface and reliable security measures, attracting a significant number of American investors.

While the exact number of Bitcoin holders in the United States remains uncertain, it surpasses that of any other country. India and Pakistan are often mentioned as having the second and third highest number of Bitcoin holders, respectively. However, due to the decentralized nature of Bitcoin transactions, it is challenging to ascertain the exact number of holders in any country. Privacy and anonymity measures are embedded in Bitcoin’s design, so tracking individual ownership can be a challenge.

What Happens After All Bitcoins Are Mined?

Because the cryptocurrency system is still evolving, predictions of what happens once all Bitcoins have been mined are based on guesswork. But as soon as all 21,000,000 Bitcoins are in use, the economics of this crypto asset will unavoidably shift.

As an illustration, the incentives for dealers and miners will differ. Miners could make money and profits from transaction fees in place of collecting block rewards. The Bitcoin network is actually completely uncontrollable, even for those with the highest amount of Bitcoin owned. Consequently, it is difficult to forecast what will actually occur and what the price of “fully diluted Bitcoin” will be.

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FAQ

Who owns the most Bitcoins?

According to most common estimates, it is Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of BTC, who has the largest Bitcoin holdings in the world. However, we don’t really know who this person (or group of people) is. Therefore, it is currently impossible to answer the question: Who owns the most Bitcoin?

What country owns the most Bitcoin?

The United States owned the most Bitcoin out of all countries at the time of writing.

What makes Bitcoin unique?

Bitcoin stands out as a distinct digital asset due to decentralization, immutability, censorship resistance, and limited supply.

x Is Bitcoin a good investment?

Yes, Bitcoin can be a good investment, but only for those who are willing to take on some risk. Before you invest in BTC or any other crypto asset, make sure it fits your investment strategy first.

How to get Bitcoin?

To buy Bitcoin, you need to find a good crypto exchange and a reliable wallet. And even if there may be difficulties with the latter, there are no doubts about the former — Changelly is always at hand! You can also join the ranks of Bitcoin holders with the help of a Bitcoin ATM.

Who owns the most cryptocurrency?

There are hundreds of thousands of crypto owners out there, and it is nigh impossible to measure how many crypto coins and tokens every single person has, considering that they store their digital assets in different, fully anonymous wallets.

Final Thoughts

So who owns the most Bitcoin? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. While some individuals and organizations hold large quantities of Bitcoin, it is impossible to know for certain who has the biggest holding.

What we do know, however, is that the total value, or market cap, of all Bitcoins in circulation exceeds $1.03 trillion, and this figure continues to grow each day. With such a high value at stake, it is no wonder that people are increasingly interested in learning more about Bitcoin and its underlying technology. As cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity, it will be curious to see how the landscape changes and which players emerge as the dominant forces in this new digital economy.


Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this article are not financial or investing advice. The information provided in this article is the author’s opinion only and should not be considered as offering trading or investing recommendations. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. The cryptocurrency market suffers from high volatility and occasional arbitrary movements. Any investor, trader, or regular crypto users should research multiple viewpoints and be familiar with all local regulations before committing to an investment.

The post Who Owns the Most Bitcoin? appeared first on Cryptocurrency News & Trading Tips – Crypto Blog by Changelly.

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Author: Daria Morgen