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Learning about the top 10 Bitcoin holders is a great way to improve your market overview. The Bitcoin movement continues full steam ahead, with more firms and countries seeking to get in on the action. Bitcoin is unique among assets due to its limited and digital nature. Its fixed supply of 21 million BTC makes it ideally suited to store value over time. As such, more people seek to leverage this technology to improve their savings and commerce.
The first thing to consider is that there are many different types of crypto holders. The four main types of major Bitcoin wallet address owners are exchanges, governments, funds, and personal holders. As such, there are a variety of wallets that qualify as the top holders.
Personal Bitcoin holders are a mysterious bunch that will often not step forward to claim their wallets. This approach isn't anything new as the project’s developer, Satoshi Nakamoto, remains an anonymous figure in the market. Personal holders come from a variety of backgrounds with the largest personal holders usually being involved in the start of the market. One way in which many people became Bitcoin wealthy was through early mining efforts.
Bitcoin has a unique method of retaining validity across the network. The platform's consensus mechanism requires its users to participate in a process called mining. This process has users compete to solve a math equation with the successful party getting credit for adding the next block to the blockchain.
In Bitcoin's early days, the mining rewards were much higher. Early miners received 50 Bitcoin for their efforts. Since the network was much smaller, these miners were able to successfully mine multiple blocks, which amounted to a massive amount of Bitcoin by today's standards.
Notably, Bitcoin's mining protocol reduces the number of coins issued to the consensus winner over time, with today's rewards being only 6.25 BTC. The massive windfall that early miners received helped early Bitcoiners secure many coins. For example, Satoshi Nakamoto is said to have 1.1M Bitcoin across nearly 22,000 BTC addresses.
There are also many Bitcoiners who have consistently held on and improved their savings over the years. These users are called HOLDers (hold on for dear life). They are the backbone of the Bitcoin ecosystem as they have made a decision to support the project through thick and thin. Consequently, Bitcoin continues to see growing demand and value over time.
The next type of Bitcoin whales you are likely to encounter are exchanges. CEXs (Centralized Exchanges) have a unique structure that requires you to send your crypto to their platform to gain access to the network's features and options. This custodial architecture means that CEXs can have thousands of people's crypto in their wallets at a time.
When you zoom into the market and see the sheer size of many of today's CEXs, it's easy to visualize a scenario where they are the top crypto holders in the market. Exchanges are one of the easiest and most popular ways for new users to enter the market. As such, they are used by both new and experienced traders daily.
Additionally, the influx of traditional funding from the market has helped to boost exchange holdings further. CEXs are one of the only ways that large traditional institutions can gain access to crypto market price movements in a secure manner. These groups have shown more interest in the market as of late which has resulted in some CEXs becoming very influential.
Governments are another major Bitcoin bag holder. There are a variety of ways in which a government secures its Bitcoin holdings. On the one hand, you have nations like El Salvador that actively support the Bitcoin market and leverage the token as a part of their national reserves. These countries are pushing innovation and adoption to new heights with their approach.
A more common theme that has emerged recently is governments becoming Bitcoin wealthy after undertaking massive confiscations from criminal organizations. In this scenario, nations continue to see growing reserves due to better blockchain forensics. As such, they are now able to track and arrest those who use the tech in nefarious ways.
As more institutions turn towards Bitcoin as a viable way to store value, the number of massive investment funds rises. There are now a variety of crypto fund holders in the market. They are often vocal about their support for the tech and their belief that Bitcoin is the right asset for storing value.
Crypto funds continue to become a viable option as more firms seek to provide these services to their clients to bolster retirement and other savings. This growth has been a long time coming, with many insisting a flood of traditional investment funding is on its way to the market in the coming weeks or months.
Top 10 Crypto Holders
Now that you have a better understanding of the major Bitcoin holders in the market, it's time to see who these crypto champions are and how they got to the top spot. Remember, the Bitcoin market is a living, breathing economy that changes often. As such, you should always DYOR to ensure the data you have is the most timely and accurate whenever possible. Here are the top 10 Bitcoin holders you need to know.
1. Satoshi Nakamoto
As the creator and the first person to ever mine Bitcoin, Nakamoto has the largest stash on the network. Over the first few months of the coin's life, Nakamoto ran tests and mined the network personally to ensure its stability and capabilities. This early exclusive mining managed to secure Nakamoto +1.1M bitcoin across a variety of wallets.
The interesting part about this massive fortune is that it hasn’t moved since the project began. These 1.1M coins remain untouched for 14 years. Consequently, these coins now act like “the sword in the stone.” Anyone who claims to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto will most definitely have to move these tokens to prove their identity.
To put Nakamoto's holdings into context. He/She/They are currently responsible for around 5% of the current supply. This percentage is probably higher as some reports place the number of lost coins at around +3M. These factors have made Nakamoto an attractive target for everyone from governments to online sleuths. However, despite massive efforts put forth, Nakamoto remains a shadowy figure in the market.
Coinbase is the largest CEX in North America. The exchange is a pioneer in the market and has helped to drive adoption forward across the board. According to reports from blockchain intelligence company Arkham Intelligence, the exchange could control as much Bitcoin as Nakamoto.
The report delved into the exchange reserves and public wallets and discovered that Coinbase has a total holding of 947,755 Bitcoin in its portfolio. Today, Coinbase is an influential force in the market. It often uses its position to help inform regulators and governments when making crypto legislation.
Grayscale remains the largest crypto asset manager in the world with 643,572 Bitcoin reportedly under its control. The fund was created to help support and push innovative and disruptive technology in the markets. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) provides much-needed access to the traditional investment market without giving up regulatory certainty.
Today, the fund serves a vital role in the industry. Notably, Grayscale breaks the market down into 5 distinct categories of platforms. These five areas of focus are Financials, Consumer and Culture, cryptocurrencies, Smart Contract Blockchains, and Utilities and Services.
Not surprisingly, Binance is another CEX that has a massive amount of Bitcoin under its control. According to recent reports, the world's most popular CEX currently has 498,147 – 600,000 coins in storage. Binance has seen a meteoric rise to fame due to its ease of use and large coin selection.
5. US Government
The US government is next on the list with a healthy stash of 205,515 Bitcoins worth over $5B. The US government may not have intended to become such a large crypto holder, but after a series of high-profile busts, government agencies quickly realized they were sitting on a Bitcoin fortune. Currently, the government controls roughly 1% of the total supply thanks to these confiscations.
There was even a time when the FBI was the second-largest Bitcoin holder in the market. This scenario occurred when authorities busted the Silk Road market in November 2020. These actions led to thousands of coins being confiscated and the site's founder, Ross Ulbricht, receiving a life sentence.
Bitfinex is another CEX that has a large amount of Bitcoin under its control. Like Coinbase and Binance, Bitfinex requires its users to custodian their digital assets with the exchange to use its services. Currently, the Bitfinex Bitcoin stock is reported to include 192,508 – 200,000 Bitcoins.
Notably, Bitfinex came under scrutiny when it became public knowledge the exchange shares CEOs and other vital executive staff with the Tether (USDT) stablecoin project. These revelations led to claims that the exchange was using funds to support Tether issuances. However, further investigation has turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, and today, the exchange remains a viable option for traders to consider.
The business intelligence infrastructure provider Microstrategy is one of the strongest proponents for Bitcoin use as a store of value. The firm, which has made a name for itself by offering mobile software, cloud computing, and other intelligence services to the market, has a reserve account of 152,333 Bitcoin. Notably, Microstrategy has been in the tech industry since 1988 and remains a driving force.
One of the firm's founders, Micheal Saylor, is a well-known advocate for cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. He will often use his massive social media following to keep the community updated on his firm's new acquisitions and goals. These factors make Microstrategy both a major holder and promoter of blockchain technology.
Block.one is a popular decentralized network infrastructure provider. The firm has earned a favorable reputation through a combination of reliability and features that make blockchain integration easier and more effective for businesses. Block.one is one of the top wallet holders in the world with 140,000 Bitcoin under its control.
Notably, Block.one managed to secure $4.1B in funding via public funding. Today, it serves a crucial role in helping businesses implement, manage, and expand their blockchain footprint.
OKX is a blockchain ecosystem that includes a popular CEX, wallet, Dapp, and more. The exchange entered the market in 2104 and was originally based in China before moving operations following the crypto crackdown in 2017. Currently, OKEX controls 118,334 Bitcoin across their wallets.
Interestingly, OKX is one of the largest international cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It consistently secures a daily turnover of $1.5 billion from its Bitcoin futures trading products alone.
The Robinhood trading app is one of the most popular in the market. This flexible platform began as a stock trading network but branched into cryptocurrencies following their 2017 breakout year. Today, Robinhood controls around 118,300 Bitcoin. The network continues to venture deeper into the blockchain space as more users seek exposure to these assets.
Robinhood has had some controversies in the past where traders accused the firm of limiting access to certain stocks in a move that was designed to help save their hedge fund partners from potentially losing billions. Despite these allegations, there are still millions that use the Dapp to trade and secure Bitcoin daily.
Top 10 Bitcoin Holders is Always in Flux
Given the overall fast-paced nature of the Bitcoin market, it shouldn't be a surprise to learn that many of these positions on this list can change without warning. Notably, many of the people on the top 10 Bitcoin holders list remain massive supporters of the tech publicly, even during crypto winters. As such, their actions have shown they have a strong belief in the project's long-term success.
You can learn more about exciting blockchain projects here.