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

If someone forgets their digital wallet password, there is no mechanism to access those bitcoins again.

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’.

Due to Bitcoin’s unique system, only 21 million Bitcoins can be created worldwide, of which 19 million have already been created. Some of those bitcoins 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 may help make sense of this.

How many bitcoins are there worldwide and who owns them? This data was last collected on February 29, 2024.

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 their digital wallet password, 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 broken hard drive.

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

What is Crypto exchange?

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.

Crypto exchanges have 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. The collapse of FTX some time ago 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 Bitcoin wheel

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 it, 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

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 Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin

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

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

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