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Bitcoin Value Increase: Who Has the Most Bitcoins in the World and What Are the Reasons for Its Value Increase

BlogBitcoin Value Increase: Who Has the Most Bitcoins in the World and What Are the Reasons for Its Value Increase

The price of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is near an all-time high. US financial institutions are largely responsible for this rise in the price of Bitcoin.

Major investment banks like Black Rock, GrayScale and Fidelity are investing billions of dollars in buying this volatile digital asset.

These financial institutions have come to be known as the ‘Bitcoin Wheel’ since the events that have taken place in the past few weeks.

Due to Bitcoin’s unique system, only 21 million Bitcoins can be created worldwide, of which 19 million have already been created. However, many of them have already been lost forever.

So what other organizations or individuals are bitcoin wheels? And how will the change in wealth affect Bitcoin?

The following numbers are estimates gathered directly from research and published information that can help you understand how many bitcoins there are worldwide and who owns them. This data was last collected on February 29.

The total amount of Bitcoin which will ever be available is 21 million.  There is 1.4 million still to be mined and, of the 19.6 million that has been mined, 2.4 million has since been 'lost'.

Lost Bitcoin Forever

2.4m Bitcoins

According to an estimate, around 3 million to 6 million bitcoins have been lost forever. There is no customer support for Bitcoin. So if someone forgets or loses their digital wallet details, there is no mechanism to access those bitcoins again. A similar thing happened to James Howells, a resident of Wales, when he lost 8,000 bitcoins due to a lost hard drive.

Some of these lost bitcoins are those that may have been left behind after they were earned through criminal activities. According to blockchain research firm Elliptic, 3.15 million bitcoins have been inactive for 10 years or more. Some analysts even say that bitcoins that have been inactive for five years are lost.

According to an estimate, the number of such coins is around 35 lakhs. But it is likely that 1.1 million bitcoins of these inactive coins are owned by its anonymous creator. So these 11 lakh coins can be deducted from the list of inactive coins. This means that the number of lost coins is about 11 percent of the total bitcoins (2.4 million coins).

Crypto exchange

2.3m Bitcoins

Cryptocurrency exchanges act like banks for crypto users. Here you can exchange Bitcoin and other digital tokens for traditional currencies such as dollars or pounds. Researchers from K33 estimate that these exchanges hold about 2.3 million bitcoins either for users or for circulation in the market.

Binance is the largest exchange in the world and has an estimated holding of around five and a half million bitcoins. It is followed by Bitfenix (403000), Coinbase (386000), Robin Hood (146000) and finally OKX (126000). In total, it is believed that about 11 percent of all bitcoins are held by such exchanges.

Leaving your coins with such an exchange can also prove risky, for example the collapse of FTX which resulted in users losing access to their digital currency. Bitcoin fundamentalists also express concerns that a major regulated and law-abiding exchange runs counter to the anti-establishment idea of ​​the currency.

Unknown whale

1,600,000 Bitcoins

Bitcoin Wheel is an account that holds more than ten thousand bitcoins in its digital wallet. A website called BitInfoCharts compiles a list of the 100 largest bitcoin wallets using public blockchain records.

According to him, there are currently around 60 vaults containing ten thousand or more coins but their owners are unknown.

Owning one of these wallets will make you a billionaire. Some of these may be vaults of people or organizations that appear elsewhere in this graph, but we’ll never know, unless a researcher connects them or they reveal themselves.

It is estimated that major wheel accounts hold about eight percent of the total number of bitcoins.

Looking forward to mining

1,400,000 Bitcoins

The way Bitcoin is created, there can only be a maximum of 20 million coins. Each coin must be generated using a network of volunteer computers around the world.

These computers, many of which are owned by major Bitcoin companies, act like high-tech accountants that check and store records of Bitcoin transactions. In return for this work, computers automatically receive bitcoins.

The number of these types of coins automatically decreases over time and will be halved again in April of this year, further reducing the supply of new coins. About seven percent of the coins are still minted and the last bitcoin is expected to be created in 2140.

Skushi Nakamouti, creator of Bitcoin

1,100,000 Bitcoins

Bitcoin’s anonymous creator has an estimated 1.1 million bitcoins that were created in 2009. None of these coins have been transferred for years and no one knows who Satoshi is or if he is even alive.

If he is alive and the estimates about his vault are correct, this would make Satoshi Nakamoto the 22nd richest person in the world. Their holdings are equivalent to about five percent of all bitcoins.

Regulated investment bank

933,000 Bitcoins

In January, US financial authorities allowed investment banks to start selling new financial products tied to bitcoin, called spot bitcoin ETFs.

Investment firms that applied to launch such ETFs in mid-February began buying bitcoins by the thousands, as everyone from hedge funds to stock market traders bet on bitcoin’s price. Bought ETFs to invest while not owning a single coin.

According to K33 research, as of February 29, 933,000 coins had already been allocated or purchased and are currently held by banks for these new financial products.

Analysts at K33 believe that the most coins in this case are held by Grayscale, which started as a digital currency investment bank. The company is estimated to have around 450,000 bitcoins. Other major companies include BlackRock (150,000) and Fidelity (102,000).

Most online crypto users are celebrating the increase in their personal wealth due to the rise in value of Bitcoin through increased demand from banks, but some have criticized the concentration of power and wealth in the traditional regulated banking system. have expressed concerns about what Bitcoin was invented to replace.

These financial companies now own about 4.5 percent of all coins. The question is, what will the banks think when they have more bitcoins than Satoshi Nakamoto?

Law enforcement and confiscations

335,000 Bitcoins

Police forces around the world conduct operations against cybercrime gangs or illegal markets, and in the process, large caches of bitcoins are seized. Since 2020, the US has seized three major Bitcoin hoards.

They will eventually be auctioned, but according to research by 21.co, these funds remain in their respective crypto wallets and have not been transferred.

Around two lakh bitcoins have been seized in such raids. Arkham Intelligence has linked a wallet address containing 30,000 bitcoins to an operation against the US darknet marketplace Silk Road.

61,000 bitcoins are believed to have been seized in a major raid in the UK in 2018, and German police are also believed to have 50,000 coins recovered in a recent operation.

MicroStrategy, a software company

193,000 Bitcoins

There is hardly anyone who is a Bitcoin buyer or watcher for that matter who does not know software entrepreneur Michael Siler.

In 2020, Michael convinced his enterprise software company to buy more and more bitcoins and he celebrates each purchase with a tweet that always goes viral among crypto enthusiasts. MicroStrategy and its subsidiaries now hold approximately 193,000 Bitcoins.

Block One, a crypto software company

140,000 Bitcoins

In 2020, the CEO of crypto software company BlockOne tweeted that his company had continued to buy bitcoins after an initial purchase of 140,000 coins.

So the actual figure is likely to be much higher. The firm did not respond to an email from the BBC.

MT Gox, Coins Vulnerable to Hacking

82,000 Bitcoins

The world’s first major crypto exchange, MT Gox, lost nearly eight and a half million bitcoins in 2011 as a result of hacker attacks and related incidents.

Mark Hunter, author of a book about it, says there is still uncertainty about what happened to the coins, but it is assumed that the majority were sold on the market by thieves. .

However, 80 thousand Bitcoins are located in a popular crypto wallet address starting with ‘1Feex’. This archive will probably never be used or transferred. Another 2,600 bitcoins were also accidentally destroyed during the chaos.

Some users who lost their savings as a result of the hacking have started getting some money back from recovered coins.

The Winklevoss twins, investors

70,000 Bitcoins

It’s unclear how many bitcoins the pair of crypto-entrepreneurs currently own, but in a 2017 interview with The New York Times, they revealed that they had about 70,000 coins and that They did not sell any coins.

Tether, a cryptocurrency company

67,000 Bitcoins

Tether has its own crypto token known as a stablecoin, but the company that owns it has been buying bitcoins for years.

Industry watchers estimate that the firm holds about 67,000 bitcoins, as an audit report published in January showed the company had the equivalent of that many bitcoins in dollars.

Publicly Listed Bitcoin Miner

40,000 Bitcoins

Bitcoin mining companies operate warehouses full of powerful computers and keep up-to-date the public blockchain of the currency’s transactions. In return for this work, the Bitcoin system automatically gives them Bitcoins through a process called mining.

Bitcoin mining is controversial because of the environmental cost of running computers and keeping them cool.

Bitcoin has become more difficult to mine successfully over time, so large companies take a larger share of the worldwide Bitcoin mining pool.

Many of these are not public limited companies, but the eight largest companies with public listings hold about 40,000 bitcoins, according to K33 research. Among these, the largest companies include Marathon (16,000), Hit 8 (9000) and Roite (7600).

Tim Draper, Investor

30,000 Bitcoins

American investor Tim Draper made headlines in 2014 when he bought 30,000 bitcoins that had been auctioned off by the US government and had been seized by police from the Silk Road. At that time, the value of these coins was 17 million dollars.

Although he did not announce how many coins he now has, he told crypto website Proto in 2022 that none of these coins have been sold and that he is buying more bitcoins. Hence we can assume that the number of their coins has increased significantly.

Michael Seiler

18,000 Bitcoins

The founder of MicroStrategy tweeted in October 2020 that he personally owns 17,700 bitcoins. Now it is likely to increase further.

Tesla

9,700 Bitcoins

Tesla’s quarterly earnings report at the end of 2023 did not mention any change in its bitcoin holdings. So we can assume that the company still owns 9700 coins. In 2021, Elon Musk’s company had purchased more than 40,000 coins, but most have been sold in recent years.

Block, payments and crypto-tech company

8,000 Bitcoins

Block, the payments company headed by Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, has long been a crypto player. In his latest earnings report, he said he has about 8,038 bitcoins for investment purposes.

Peter Thiel, Investor

3,600 Bitcoins

It is not known how many bitcoins this billionaire investor has, but in 2023 his company started buying bitcoins and he has spent a total of ten million dollars in this so far.

El Salvador

2,800 Bitcoins

The bitcoin-loving president of the Central American country of El Salvador began buying bitcoins with public money in 2021 as part of a controversial investment plan for his country.

The number of bitcoins held by the country here is compiled from tweets by Dutch researcher Elias, who runs a website that tracks the portfolio. El Salvador does not keep a public record of how many coins were purchased and at what price.

The people

An estimate of how many bitcoins the general public has is 10.5 million. That’s about half of all the bitcoins in existence today.

This number will be higher when you consider the coins held by the exchanges, since most of them are owned by the common people.

But this number may be lower if the number of missing coins is high or Bitcoinwheels has more coins than we know.

No one knows for sure how many ordinary people own bitcoins, but crypto-tech company River estimates that there were 81.7 million bitcoin users as of June 2023.

Interestingly, research suggests that the latest rise in bitcoin’s value is not happening because individual retail investors are buying bitcoins.

Analysts at Into the Block say bitcoin wheels such as big banks are driving price and demand, and the general public attracted to peer-to-peer digital cash is not.

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