Bitcoin is a slightly anonymous – pseudonymous – coin. It can be hard for anyone to pin coins to an individual or an organization for that same reason. In many cases, individuals or organizations that accumulate or acquire a significant number of coins do so through highly publicized moves. Therefore, we might know that they hold substantial amounts of Bitcoin from media reports, but we are not necessarily able to tie those names to specific addresses or Bitcoin wallets. With that in mind, we set out to find who are the top 10 Bitcoin holders. These organizations or individuals own the top 10 Bitcoin wallets by number of coins according to various sources.
Satoshi is the Number 1 Bitcoin Holder
Any article that lists the top 10 Bitcoin wallets, must at least acknowledge that Satoshi Nakamoto is the single greatest Bitcoin holder in the world. He – she or them – owns 1 million BTC. That is 4.76% of the total 21 million coins that will ever be mined. Some reports put Satoshi’s holdings at slightly above 1 million. Satoshi might have other wallets with more coins in them, but the most widely accepted figure is 1 million BTC.
Are the Winklevoss Twins Worth More Than Satoshi?
If there is no single Bitcoin holder that has more coins than Satoshi, two notorious individuals might have enough coins combined to eclipse Bitcoin’s legendary creator. The Winklevoss twins have claimed to have about 1% of circulating Bitcoin supply, but other reports pin the number of coins they own closer to 10% of total supply at 1.5 million BTC. The twins own the Gemini exchange, which is a great source of income for them to accumulate even more coins, so the information we have on how much they hold is quickly shifting.
Roger Ver, Jihan Wu and Eric Voorhees
There are other prominent individuals within the Bitcoin community that are reportedly worth hundreds of thousands of coins. At some point in time, the community levelled accusations at them, claiming that they were trying to destroy Bitcoin. These individuals are: Eric Voorhees, Roger Ver and Jihan Wu.
- Eric Voorhees is the founder of Satoshi Dice, which he sold for about 126,000 BTC. Satoshi Dice was accused of slowing down transactions on the Bitcoin network through spam transactions. This notion has been dispelled and Voorhees has been a great ambassador for Bitcoin and its cause.
- Ver is the owner of bitcoin.com and mining pool among other sites and ventures. He is a big block proponent, who was a critical actor in the Bitcoin Cash fork. He reportedly owns 300,000 BTC, although he might have dumped some of it when the UASF came through.
- Jihan Wu is one of the owners of Bitmain and some of the biggest Bitcoin mining pools. He was also a supporter of big blocks, and his fortune is believed to have shrunk following the bear market of 2018, lower ASIC miner sales as well as a dispute with Craig Wright after the BSV fork.
The 2 Most Unlikely Bitcoin Holders That Crack the Top 10 Wallet List
Moving from individuals to organizations, two governments could easily make the list of the top 10 Bitcoin wallets. The first – and the most obvious one – is the US government, which ceased 144,000 BTC from Silk Road alone. The US government auctions coins off however, so the US government no longer belongs in this list.
The government of Bulgaria does. This small European nation has ceased 213,519 BTC from illegal activities within its territory, and its government seems to be holding. This figure would make Bulgaria the second largest Bitcoin holder in the world.
After Serving Time, Charlie Shrem Might Still Make the Top 10 Bitcoin Wallet List
Charlie Shrem who was arrested in 2014 and later convicted for transmitting money without a license, walked out of jail in 2016 with what many believe is a substantial amount of Bitcoin. It is widely believed that Charlie Shrem is worth about 100,000 BTC. Nevertheless, he might owe a chunk of that to the US government still, and the Winklevoss twins have launched a lawsuit for $32 million due to alleged coin theft. This might knock Shrem out of the list altogether but considering that he started investing early on when Bitcoin was at $4 USD, he could easily have a stash no one else knows about.
Speculating About Top 10 Bitcoin Wallets
Other wealthy Bitcoiners could easily make the list of the top 10 Bitcoin wallets, but we are not sure about the amount they hold. Such is the case of 4 individuals: Dave Carlson, Jered Kenna, Barry Silbert, and Gavin Andresen.
- Carlson is believed to have made a fortune in the early days of Bitcoin mining. He also founded MegaBitPower which allowed him to continue building his fortune.
- Kenna was an early Bitcoin investor, buying in at $0.2 USD! He sold some of his coins at a profit – $30 million USD – in 2015, and founded TradeHill as well as an anonymous mining pool.
- Silbert is probably the most controversial of these 4 early Bitcoin adopters. He was one of the major proponents of the failed SegWit2X fork and that got him a lot of negative attention from within the community. Regardless of his position on block size, Silbert’s early Bitcoin investments, along with his purchase of seized Silk Road coins, could well put them in the top 10 Bitcoin holder list.
- Andresen is probably the most prominent of these 4 individuals. He officially took over bitcoin.org and became the most important ambassador that the coin has ever had. He is the earliest adopter of these four and was appointed as the lead developer of the Bitcoin project when Satoshi faded away. This means he could be one of the biggest Bitcoin holders in the world, and could easily be within the top 10.
Other Prominent Figures with Top 10 Bitcoin Wallet Potential
Two individuals round off our list of the top 10 Bitcoin holders. Toni Gallippi, who reportedly owns 34,000 BTC is the founder and current CEO of BitPay – the largest Bitcoin checkout processor. Tim Draper would round off the top 10 Bitcoin wallet list with a net BTC worth of 30,000. He is a venture capitalist who invested in Skype and bought a significant amount of coins from the FBI’s Silk Road auction.
Top 10 Bitcoin Wallets Will Shift
Those are the individuals and organizations who are most likely to make the list of the top 10 Bitcoin wallets, although they are unlikely to hold their coins within the same wallet, let alone within the same address. Therefore, in most cases, it is impossible to independently verify how much Bitcoin they actually own.
The fact that their names are associated with copious quantities of Bitcoin, can put some of these individuals at risk. In fact, anyone announcing how much Bitcoin they have would put them at risk, which is why it is so difficult to identify who is in the top 10. The other factor that plays a role is cash outs. Not all the people who have tens or even hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins will keep all their coins. Therefore, the top 10 Bitcoin wallet list is bound to shift!