Curiosity about the identities of the richest Bitcoin millionaires rises every time the price of the digital currency jumps higher.
This year alone has brought staggering boosts in wealth for those Bitcoin owners. A person who owns 1,000 bitcoins becomes $100,000 wealthier every time the Bitcoin price goes up just $100. The price of Bitcoin has soared more than $1,500 higher this year.
That means a Bitcoin millionaire holding 1,000 bitcoins has enjoyed a $1.5 million gain in less than six months.
But Bitcoin millionaires aren't as common as you might think, given its huge gains.
At the current Bitcoin price of about $2,500, a person needs 400 bitcoins to qualify as a Bitcoin millionaire.
According to BitInfoCharts.com, just over 4,300 Bitcoin addresses hold 400 or more bitcoins. But since one person can have multiple Bitcoin addresses, the actual number of Bitcoin millionaires is certainly much lower than 4,300.
It's impossible to calculate the exact number of Bitcoin millionaires, or to even know how many bitcoins one person may own. The reason is that while all Bitcoin addresses are public, who owns them isn't.
What we do know is that Bitcoin wealth is extremely concentrated. Almost two-thirds of all bitcoins are held in just 0.01% of the addresses (those containing 100 or more bitcoins). And an astonishing 89.4% of all bitcoins are held in 0.8% of the addresses (those containing 10 or more bitcoins).
|Bitcoin Amount||% of Addresses (total)||% of Bitcoins (Total)|
|0 - 0.001||58.08% (100%)||0.01% (100%)|
|0.001 - 0.01||17.16% (41.92%)||0.07% (99.99%)|
|0.01 - 0.1||14.9% (24.76%)||0.52% (99.91%)|
|0.1 - 1||6.62% (9.86%)||2.42% (99.39%)|
|1 - 10||2.44% (3.24%)||7.56% (96.97%)|
|10 - 100||0.7% (0.8%)||26.27% (89.41%)|
|100 - 1,000||0.09% (0.1%)||22.92% (63.15%)|
|1,000 - 10,000||0.01% (0.01%)||21.69% (40.23%)|
|10,000 - 100,000||0% (0%)||17.08% (18.54%)|
|100,000 - 1,000,000||0% (0%)||1.46% (1.46%)|
Of course, since these Bitcoin addresses aren't linked to the owner names, there's no way to create a comprehensive list of Bitcoin millionaires.
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On the other hand, we do know of a handful of prominent people who most definitely are Bitcoin millionaires...
7 of the World's Top Bitcoin Millionaires
While we can't provide exact numbers, we know enough about this group to ballpark how much Bitcoin they own and what it's worth at today's prices...
- Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
Estimated bitcoins owned: 1.5 million
Estimated value at $2,500: $3.75 billion
The Winklevoss twins gained fame when they sued Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the idea for Facebook Inc. (NYSE: FB) from them. But in 2013, they used part of their $65 million settlement to buy 1.5 million bitcoins. That investment - valued at $11 million at the time by The New York Times -- has increased more than 31,000% since then. The identical twins aren't just Bitcoin investors, though. They've also launched one of the leading Bitcoin exchanges, Gemini, and developed a proposal for a Bitcoin ETF (the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust) that was rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March.
- Satoshi Nakamoto
Estimated bitcoins owned: 1 million
Estimated value at $2,500: $2.5 billion
The mysterious creator of Bitcoin is believed to control about 1 million bitcoins, most of those mined in the earliest days of the cryptocurrency when only a handful of programmers were even aware it existed. Back then the block reward was 50 bitcoins, and the difficulty so low that you could mine plenty of Bitcoin with an average laptop. It's unclear if Nakamoto is a pseudonym for one person or a group of people, or where he/she/they may be now. But the bitcoins known to belong to Nakamoto have never been spent or transferred.
The rest of these names might not be quite as familiar...
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About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.