Who owns the most Bitcoin in 2022?
One of the main features of the Bitcoin blockchain is its transparency. Bitcoin lets anyone see all the transactions that have ever been done on the network and check the balance at every address out there. Because of this openness, we are able to know who owns the most Bitcoin (BTC) in 2022.
It is important to look at who owns the most BTC, as the supply of cryptocurrency is limited to 21 million coins. In February, Kim Grauer, research director at blockchain investigation firm Chainalysis, told Cointelegraph that an estimated 3.7 million BTC had been lost, effectively depleting the cryptocurrency’s circulating supply.
Experts estimate that as Bitcoin usage increases, demand for it will skyrocket. As 3.7 million coins are estimated to be lost and a significant amount is kept in the chain by early investors, this may follow a supply shock. Such a shock can only materialize if demand skyrockets in the future.
Those who own the most Bitcoin will benefit greatly from such a shock. In addition, a significant supply held by one unit is seen as a risk, because if this unit ends up selling its war cry on the market, it can lead to a significant disadvantage.
Who owns the most Bitcoin?
The device that is widely recognized for having the most Bitcoin is the creator of cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto is believed to have around 1.1 million BTC that they have never touched over the years, leading to several theories about their identity and situation.
A significant amount of analysis has been done to determine how many coins Nakamoto actually has. After establishing BTC by extracting the genesis block, Nakamoto extracted a significant number of blocks through their hardware at the time, with each block having a 50-BTC reward.
Nakamoto always used different Bitcoin addresses and disappeared back in 2010. It is unclear how many blocks they mined as other early users joined the action quite early as well. Lower estimates indicate that Nakamoto has around 750,000 BTC.
Although the exact holdings of Nakamoto are not entirely clear, they are to listed companies, governments, funds and other transparent organizations.
Public and private company holdings
Over time, several organizations have added Bitcoin to their balances. The most notable is the business intelligence company MicroStrategy, which accumulated 129,218 BTC after first investing in the cryptocurrency in August 2020.
The company’s CEO, Michael Saylor, has doubled the company’s Bitcoin strategy throughout the bear market, saying that MicroStrategy plans to keep BTC “through adversity.” In early 2021, possibly thanks to the influence of Saylor, the electric car manufacturer Tesla also invested in Bitcoin, risking $ 1.5 billion to buy 43,200 BTC.
According to Bitcoin Treasuries, a website that tracks Bitcoin held by listed companies, other companies that have Bitcoin on the balance sheet include Core Scientific, BTC Miner Marathon Digital Holdings, fintech giant Square, the crypto exchange Coinbase and the crypto investment company Galaxy Digital.
Thomas Perfumo, Head of Business Operations and Strategy at Kraken, spoke with Cointelegraph regarding companies’ holdings of cryptocurrencies:
“All companies should have an open mind towards Bitcoin, but they should consider what represents the shareholders’ best interests. At Kraken, we hold cryptocurrencies as equity.”
Perfumo added that Kraken also offers employees the opportunity to take “as much of their salary in crypto as they want via a salary solution we call Sidemoon.” He added that a “significant number” of Kraken’s employees benefit from the solution.
Public companies are estimated to have a total of 268,271 BTC, corresponding to over 1.27% of Bitcoin’s total supply. Over the years, however, several private companies have also revealed that they have BTC.
The private companies with the largest amounts of BTC are the company behind the EOSIO software Block.one, which has 140,000 BTC, Tezos Foundation, which has 17,500 BTC, and Stone Ridge Holdings Group, with 10,000 BTC. MassMutual comes next, with 3500 BTC.
In total, private companies reportedly have 202,068 BTC. Bill Barhydt, CEO of the crypto-investment company Abra, spoke to Cointelegraph, noting that companies should invest in BTC, but choose the “right size” for their treasuries. Barhydt added:
“Companies with a long-term time horizon should consider investing even more of their liquid assets in Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
The CEO revealed that Abra has Bitcoin by comparing it with companies that are known to have invested in the cryptocurrency, including Tesla. According to him, since the accounting rules in the United States are “fixed and modernized, it will be even easier to recreate” what companies like these do.
Countries that own the most Bitcoin
There are several countries that also have Bitcoin. Most people have obtained the flagship cryptocurrency by seizing it, but these holdings are often sold quickly at auctions to private investors.
El Salvador is the country with the most Bitcoin, with 2301 BTC in the treasury. The country adopted the cryptocurrency as a legal tender in September 2021 and has invested in it several times. It plans to create a Bitcoin City using the power of a volcano.
In April 2022, Finland was reported to have confiscated 1,981 BTC during criminal investigations with plans to auction off the funds later in the year. At the time of writing, no report has emerged indicating that the funds have been auctioned.
Ukrainian officials have provided data through Opendatabot showing that they have owned a total of 46,351 BTC as of April 5, 2021. These statements came as a requirement for property disclosure imposed on public officials, which means that they are the property of individuals and not the authorities themselves.
Similarly, it is said that Georgian MPs have a total of 66 BTC, even though the funds belong to private individuals and not the government.
Bitcoin fund portfolio
Cryptocurrency investment funds allow investors to be exposed to their underlying assets without having to deal with them. In practice, this means gaining exposure to a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin without having to deal with public or private keys.
Funds add more Bitcoin in response to investor influx and dispose of their holdings as investors withdraw. The largest fund that holds Bitcoin is Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, which has 643,572 BTC, corresponding to over 3% of the cryptocurrency’s circulating offerings. Next is CoinShares, which has around 42,980 BTC through XBT Provider’s exchange traded products.
Prior to this month’s sale of the crypto market, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF was the largest traded fund of BTC holdings. The sale led to the fund’s holding falling from 47,818 BTC to 23,307 BTC between 16 and 17 June, a staggering 51% decline. The fund’s portfolio is still estimated to be above 3iQ’s CoinShares Bitcoin ETF, which has an estimated 12,115 BTC.
Largest individual Bitcoin portfolio
Bitcoin addresses are pseudonymous, which means that although we can easily see which addresses have the most Bitcoin in them, we can only identify who is behind each one through extensive blockchain analysis or whether the device behind them emerges.
Data from BitInfoCharts shows that the best Bitcoin wallets belong to cryptocurrency exchanges, which means that they have the assets of various users who choose to keep their money on exchanges. Data show that there are five Bitcoin addresses with between 100,000 and 1 million BTC in them. Four of these have been identified and belong to exchanges.
Although it is possible to see how many addresses contain how much BTC, this does not exactly answer the question of which individuals have the largest Bitcoin holdings. However, analyzing the market and individuals’ statements gives us different clues.
Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of the leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, was said to have a net worth of $ 96 billion in January 2022, with this estimate reportedly not including holdings of Bitcoin and BNB.
The CEO has said several times that he does not have fiat currencies, which would mean significant BTC and BNB holdings. Although exact numbers are not known, it is quite safe to assume that Zhao is among those who have a significant amount of Bitcoin.
Other well-known major Bitcoin holders are Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who invested the millions they earned in the lawsuit against Facebook in cryptocurrencies and became the first Bitcoin billionaires. It is rumored that the duo would at some point own 1% of all Bitcoin in circulation.
Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist Tim Draper is known to have bought at least 30,000 BTC back in 2014, and bought the coins from an auction held by US authorities after seizing the funds from the now defunct darknet marketplace Silk Road.
Other people who are believed to have large amounts of BTC include Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, Saylor and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Their exact holdings – if they even have Bitcoin – are unknown.
Bitcoin promotes growth and its supply
As the number of Bitcoin holders out there grows, the available supply of the cryptocurrency decreases, which could potentially lead to the aforementioned offer shock. Kraken’s Perfumo noted that the magic of crypto is that every individual has full flexibility when it comes to managing their crypto repository.
Abras Barhydt said investors in Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) should have a minimum horizon of five to seven years or longer and should “assume that these funds are locked in for at least five years, given the volatility that lies in valuing exponentially growing technologies.”
Assuming funds are unlocked will increase the potential supply shock. Kent Barton, head of tokenomics at ShapeShift DAO, told the Cointelegraph that bear markets “have historically been an excellent time to buy Bitcoin at relatively low prices,” although there are no guarantees that prices will ever rise again.
During beef markets, Barton said it is important to “take a certain percentage of your risk off the table”, as moving some BTC to fiat when prices are high “means you will be in a better position to manage the next bear market and have dry powder to buy Bitcoin at low prices. ” Barton added:
“In a very long-term time frame, Bitcoin continues to serve as a potential hedge against the collapse of the dollar.”
Whether Bitcoin is a good investment or not depends on who you ask. The currency can neither be debated through inflation nor the transactions can be censored by a central authority. For some of the owners, the prices are almost irrelevant as long as these and other qualities are maintained.