Bitcoin is a digital currency that has been around for nearly a decade now. Just like most assets, there are some people who own the largest shares. Back in November last year, news went round the crypto space that someone transferred roughly 25,000 Bitcoins to an online exchange, which is worth around $159 million.
Before you know who owns the most Bitcoins, you need to know how many Bitcoins are there; There are several Bitcoin large holders, known as whales. Their presence is a worry for most traders as they have the ability to send the price of Bitcoin plunging just by selling a portion of their holdings. Revealing all the top players in the Bitcoin space is a little tricky since most of them are unknown.
With 40 percent of Bitcoin being held by roughly 1,000 people, here are a few of the biggest known holders of Bitcoin.
The first known and perhaps the largest holder of Bitcoin is the creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. According to some reports, Satoshi has roughly $7 billion worth of Bitcoins. This figure is just an estimation as it might be significantly higher or lower than that. We know little to prove who Satoshi is, the same way little is known about his or her Bitcoin holdings.
The Chinese Bitcoin Farms
Some of the biggest Bitcoin players are the mining farms that mine Bitcoin and release them into circulation. The estimation is that roughly 81% of all the collective hashrate of Bitcoin is controlled by mining pools in China. Reports have suggested that one of the largest mining operations in the world, Antpool is responsible for mining approximately 20% of all Bitcoins mined in both 2016 and 2017.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
This is a surprise name on the list as no one would have thought that a government agency would be one of the largest holders of Bitcoin. The security agency is estimated to own around 1.5% of all the Bitcoin currently in circulation.
Just like the Chinese mining farms, the FBI runs similar mining operations, though it is relatively small compared to what the Chinese farms are running.
This was the first and one of the largest Bitcoin acquisition ever recorded. Back in 2013, Satoshi Dice purchased 126,315 Bitcoin, $858,942,000 in today’s markets.
He is the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Digital Currency Group. His company which is focused on rapidly developing the global financial system aim to achieve this by building and supporting Bitcoin and blockchain-related companies globally.
Digital currency group has invested in nearly 100 Bitcoin-related companies and is considered one of the leading firms in the world in terms of Bitcoin and blockchain investment. Its acquisition of CoinDesk, one of the leading cryptocurrency news site has further engraved the company’s status as one the leading firms in the crypto space.
Digital currency group is also the owner of Genesis, which is a trading firm that focuses on cryptocurrencies. Grayscale is another company owned by Silbert, and it is focused on cryptocurrency investments. Not stopping there, Silbert also founded the Bitcoin Investment Trust, which is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks Bitcoin price.
She is a former managing director at one of the leading banks in the U.S, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Digital Asset Holdings. This company has been manufacturing encryption-based processing tools which are designed to increase the efficiency, security, compliance and settlement speed of securities trading, especially those of Bitcoin.
The company is looking to apply the blockchain technology to most of the activities on the Wall Street. The company has a number of clients, with JP Morgan Chase one of them. They are helping financial institutions test the blockchain technology to see how it can settle transactions faster.
According to most analysts and traders, Masters has given Bitcoin some level of legitimacy through her company, Digital Asset Holdings. It is a global company now that has offices on three continents.
The founder of Pantera Capital is one of the biggest Bitcoin holders in the world. The company is the first one in the world that was established to focus solely on cryptocurrencies investments. Pantera Capital launched its first crypto fund back in 2013, and it has now transformed to one of the biggest institutional owners of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Aside Bitcoin, the crypto fund has invested in nearly 50 cryptocurrencies since it was established and has invested in crypto-related companies like Polychain Capital. Augur, Bitstamp, and so many others.
Dan Morehead who was a former trader at Goldman Sachs also headed macro trading and was the CFO at Tiger management.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss
Perhaps the most popular names in the crypto space after Satoshi, the Winklevoss twins are one of the biggest Bitcoin holders in the world. The duo earned millions after winning a lawsuit against Facebook and were the first billionaires after the surge in Bitcoin prices late last year.
Reports suggest that the Winklevoss twins hold roughly 1% of all the Bitcoin currently circulation. They stated that they have come up with elaborate ways to store the private keys for their crypto assets.
The twins are looking to make the crypto space more attractive to institutional investors and other day traders. To achieve that, they launched the first regulated crypto exchange platform in the world, Gemini.
This billionaire is reported to have invested roughly 30% of his wealth in cryptos. His first investment came in 2015. Two years later, he announced a $500 million crypto fund, with $150 million of those funds from his personal fortune.
Novogratz has been a very vocal supporter of Bitcoin, with the investor forecasting that the Bitcoin price will hit $40,000 by the end of this year.
The Bitcoin space has evolved over the past few years, and more big players are boarding the train. It is expected that bigger institutions would come on board. There are other traders and investors who hold a significant amount of Bitcoin in their portfolio, but for the meantime, the above-listed individuals and bodies are the largest holders of Bitcoin in the world.