Bitcoin has been one of the fastest-growing financial assets over the last decade. Conceived as the first digital currency for mass use, this cryptocurrency has touched both ends of the scale. With a first recorded value of approximately $ 0.001 per bitcoin and an all-time high above $20,000, many have seen a small investment grow into a huge fortune. But who owns the largest BTC reserves in the world?
In this bitcoin rich list, you will discover the 5 people who have the biggest fortunes in bitcoin.
Top 15: the highest valued Bitcoin addresses
We can actually see the richest Bitcoin wallets thanks to the Blockchain: a public and historical record of all Bitcoin transactions and addresses. Some services collect this information and present it in an accessible way. Such is the case with Bitinfocharts, which shows us a list of the richest Bitcoin addresses in the world. The service has even managed to identify who some of these Bitcoin wallets belong to.
Multiple addresses on the list belong to the cold storage (offline) wallets of the largest exchanges on the planet. The first address, with over $2 billion, belongs to Huobi.
The 2nd address on the list corresponds to the richest Bitcoin wallet of an unidentified entity. A transaction of more than $1 billion in 2019 caused euphoric interest in the mysterious owner behind this Bitcoin address.
Our Bitcoin Rich List: the 5 known characters with the largest reserves in BTC
# 5: Cameron and Tyler: The Winklevoss twins
The famous twins are already part of the culture of cryptocurrencies. The Winklevoss brothers, less than 40 years old, have one of the largest fortunes in Bitcoin, although its exact size is not known.
The entrepreneurs have focused their investments primarily on technology, specifically the Internet niche. Their connection to Bitcoin began in 2013, when the twins claimed that they owned 1% of all the existing fortune in bitcoin at that time, as reported by The Washington Post.
The data on their current crypto fortune is mixed. Forbes estimates that their cryptocurrency reserves are between 900 million and 1.1 billion dollars, while other sources place their accumulated fortune at around $1.3 billion.
# 4: Chris Larsen — angel investor and former Ripple CEO
The list becomes even more speculative, interesting, and even controversial when Larsen is included on the list. The former CEO of Ripple (now led by Brad Garlinghouse) has seized a huge reserve of funds in Ripple’s XRP coin when he left the company.
XRP is one of the few cryptocurrencies that breaks with the nature of explicit decentralization and empowers a company, which manages more than half of the funds in the cryptocurrency used for its cross-border transactions. According to the Forbes article, his fortune is made up of 5.19 billion XRP tokens, which translates to about $1.4 billion.
His net worth, however, is estimated to be around $7 billion, making him the richest person — known — in the crypto space.
# 3: Changpeng Zhao (CZ)
Another go-to name in the crypto industry is Changpeng Zhao. The Chinese-Canadian computer and business expert has been an important figure in the development of the industry.
CZ worked on the development of Blockchain.com and is now the CEO of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the world — Binance. Given his early foray into the crypto sphere, CZ has amassed a fortune in excess of $2 billion in his cryptocurrency reserves.
# 2: Joseph Lubin – the ‘crypto billionaire in the shadows’
When it comes to the founding of Ethereum, the first name that comes up is Vitalik Buterin, the famous Russian-Canadian programmer. However, businessman Joseph Lubin also contributed greatly during the conception stages of the project that today houses the second-largest cryptocurrency in the industry.
Lubin is today the CEO of Consensys, a Brooklyn-based company focused on the use of the blockchain for decentralized software development. In 2018, Forbes made an intrepid estimate for the looseness of the range. The magazine claimed that Lubin would have a fortune in cryptocurrencies between one and five billion dollars.
# 1: The mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto owns the largest bitcoin fortune in the world
No one knows who is behind the legendary name “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the pseudonym used by the anonymous creator of Bitcoin since the launch of his whitepaper in 2008. This makes him probably the greatest contemporary legend and a character who has sparked intrigue and fascination.
Despite the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, the community was very small during the first months of development and very few miners were involved in the process, which gave Nakamoto great leverage.
It is not known exactly if his fortune goes beyond Bitcoin and what exactly is the size of it, but the research is fascinating.
A study conducted by “Whale Alert” in July 2020 tried to estimate the number of bitcoins mined in the early stages of development of this cryptocurrency, mapping the possible addresses belonging to Satoshi Nakamoto. Whale Alert’s research claims to have made “the most accurate estimate” of Nakamoto’s fortune.
“1,125,150 bitcoin mined up to block 54,316 with an estimated total value of the unspent bitcoin of at least $10.9 billion USD”
If we take the price of bitcoin as a reference during the writing of this article, the figure amounts to more than 12 billion dollars. Thus, Nakamoto, if he were a single individual, would have the greatest fortune in Bitcoin and would be one of the most important billionaires in the world.