Who Owns the Most Bitcoin?

June 17, 2020

Bitcoin is one of the first cryptocurrencies in the market, and it emerged through the global financial crisis of 2008. It is a peer-to-peer digital currency and is one of the most successful digital currencies to date.

Ever since its launch in 2009, many people have mined and traded Bitcoin and since become multimillionaires. Few people knew that Bitcoin would be such a hit and that they would become millionaires, it was just a risky business, and people who opted in early have prospered.

Many people also recognized Bitcoin as a financial opportunity and have benefited hugely from their investments. With such a highly popular cryptocurrency, you may wonder who owns the most Bitcoin? In this article, we will explore some of the better-known personalities.

Satoshi Nakamoto

A mysterious entity, by the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto, published a paper on ‘Bitcoin: a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’ that led to the development and release of the Bitcoin network in 2009.

Nakamoto wanted to create a currency where any global economic crisis would not affect it and would help people keep their assets safe and valued. It was aimed to be a revolutionary financial system for the whole world.

The genesis block came out in January 2009, and Satoshi Nakamoto worked on the active development team for more than one and a half years before disengaging from the project.

Till today no one knows the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Although many people have claimed to be the founder, it is still a mystery.

Nakamoto had created anonymous email accounts using an email address from anon mail hosting services. He had just created a PGP block a few months before mining the genesis block. It shows that he didn’t want to be known to the public eye and wanted to protect the Bitcoin network.

Nakamoto also possessed a lot of Bitcoins as he was one of the first to mine them, but didn’t cash them out. Satoshi Nakamoto is expected to have access to around 1 million bitcoins [1].

Various researchers have tried to analyze some data points left by the founder to speculate his origin, way of speech, and much more to determine his identity. He is presumed to be Japanese or Asian born on 5th April, 1975, residing in Japan and working on American time.

Barry Silbert

Barry Silbert is known as the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Digital Currency Group. The company’s aim is to accelerate the development of the global financial system. They are able to accomplish this by building and supporting Bitcoin and other blockchain companies.

Digital Currency Group acquired CoinDesk, a leading Bitcoin news-source that runs the annual Bitcoin industry conference. Barry Silbery is also known as “The King of Crypto” as his firm has invested in more than 100 Bitcoin-related companies and is also one of the world’s leading firms to invest in Bitcoin-related companies.

Digital Currency Group also owns Genesis, one of the largest regulated trading firms that are focused on digital currency. Along with Grayscale, a company aimed to invest in digital currencies [2].

Barry was an investment banker and graduated with honours from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University. He began investing in Bitcoin as early as 2012 and became an active investor in the industry.

He founded DCG in 2015, and it currently backs over 140 companies across 30 countries [2]. Barry has also received numerous awards for his leadership, such as Entrepreneur of the Year by Crain’s and Ernst & Young and even listed in Fortune’s ’40 under 40′ list.

Barry’s Bitcoin Investment Trust claimed to reach a milestone of over 100,000 bitcoin in 2014 [3]

He tweeted out on 12th May saying, “Sad to not be hanging out with my crypto friends at would have been the annual @coincenter Gala tonight. I look forward to it every year”.

Blythe Masters

Blythe Masters has held many positions in the finance industry, most notable as the Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co at the age of 28. In 2014 Masters led as CEO for Digital Asset Holdings, a company which builds encryption-based processing tools that help to improve the efficiency, security, compliance, and settlement speed of trading Bitcoin.

In the early days, the company raised $150 million in funding. One of the first clients of DAH was surprisingly J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, and they wanted to test their blockchain technology to settle transactions faster. DAH operates six offices on three different continents across the globe [4].

However, Masters stepped down from DAH in 2018 due to personal reasons. She joined Motive Partners as an industry partner and had this to say:

In a relatively short period, Motive has made great strides, and I look forward to working with the talented team on the future phases of the firm’s development.” [5]

A few months after fulfilling the role as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Linux Foundation’s open-source Hyperledger Project, Masters championed blockchain with a tweet prompting the “National Action Plan for Blockchain” [6].

Masters continues to fulfil several roles for leading companies, guiding them with blockchain, financial services and technology. Blythe has a B.A. in economics and is undoubtedly one of the most influential women in the blockchain industry. While Blythe Masters net worth is unknown, there are plenty of news reports of the massive investments the companies she has been part of have made.

Dan Morehead

Dan Morehead is the founder of one of the world’s first investment firms focused on cryptocurrencies, Pantera Capital. Pantera launched its first crypto fund in 2013, and by late 2018, it became one of the largest institutional owners of cryptocurrencies.

Pantera has invested in various exchanges and investment firms such as Polychain Capital, Bitstamp, and even coin trading services such as Augur. The investors received more than 10,000% returns in 2018.

Morehead was a former Goldman Sachs Trader and was also the head of macro trading and CFO at Tiger Management. He is also on the board of Bitstamp, a crypto trading exchange used by CME as input for spot prices.

He tweeted on 6th May 2020 saying, “#bitcoin could hit $115,212 in Aug 2021 based on the change in the stock-to-flow ratio across each halving.” [7]

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are primarily known for their Facebook lawsuit settlement. The millions they earned from the undisclosed settlement were invested in cryptocurrencies, and they became billions when Bitcoin prices surged in late 2017.

They claim to own around 1% of all the Bitcoin in circulation (more than 180,000 BTC) and have also come up with a defined system to store their private keys for their digital assets.

The Winklevoss twins launched Gemini, one of the world’s first regulated exchanges for cryptocurrencies. They want to build an ecosystem that will attract institutional investors as well as day traders to cryptocurrency.

The exchange is used for Bitcoin spot prices for futures contracts at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The brothers also applied to set up a Bitcoin ETF to help the cryptocurrency be more accessible to the investors, but the SEC has denied this for the second time. [2]

[1] – https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/satoshi.asp

[2] – https://www.salt.org/bio-silbert-barry

[3] – https://twitter.com/barrysilbert/status/454391450353295360

[4] – https://www.investopedia.com/articles/people/083016/who-are-top-5-bitcoin-millionaires.asp

[5] – https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo/2019/12/17/blythe-masters-is-backat-a-new-473-million-private-equity-fund/#250efc625cc0

[6] – https://twitter.com/blythemasters/status/1108365575443701766[7] – https://twitter.com/dan_pantera/status/1257763173618159616

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