With cryptocurrencies soaring to an all-time high, it’s just a matter of time until we see our first bitcoin billionaire. Currently, the largest bitcoin wallet contains 124,178 BTC. The present value of that wallet is approximately $325 million, although it briefly hit $375 million when the price of Bitcoin surpassed $3000 USD.
Can We Identify a Bitcoin Billionaire?
Due to the anonymity of bitcoin addresses, some speculation on this topic is required. We don’t know whether the wallet containing 124,178 Bitcoin is “owned” by several individuals or groups who have pooled their funds together. If that’s the case for this wallet, and several of the other wallets, we might still be years off from seeing the first bitcoin billionaire.
Alternatively, we don’t know if the individual has significant sums of bitcoin held in other accounts. There are 113 bitcoin addresses that collectively hold over $8 billion. It’s possible that one individual is attached to several of these bitcoin addresses. Although it seems unlikely, we may already have a bitcoin billionaire. The entire market cap for bitcoin is sitting at $43 billion, so there is certainly room for an individual to have staked their $1 billion claim.
Who Would the Bitcoin Billionaire Be?
If you were to gamble your bitcoins on identifying the first bitcoin billionaire, a safe choice would be Satoshi Nakamoto. It is believed that the individual or group behind bitcoin has mined and stashed over 1 million of the coins. This means the bitcoin creator would already be worth $2.6 billion. That being said, given the mysterious identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, it’s uncertain whether that $2.6 billion is split between one person or several.
Two additional candidates to become the first bitcoin billionaires are Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The twin Harvard graduates claim to own 1 percent of all bitcoins in July 2013 (roughly 120,000 BTC at the time). While that could be the largest bitcoin wallet mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is likely that the Winklevoss twins diversified their portfolio across multiple addresses to provide a level of security. Assuming the Winklevoss twins have held their bitcoins, they would be worth over $300 million today. While still far short of $1 billion, that number may be just a couple years away.
Bitcoin Billionaire by the Numbers
What does it take to become a bitcoin billionaire? Given the price of bitcoin today ($2750), an individual would need roughly 363,636 Bitcoins in order to pass the billion-dollar mark through bitcoin alone.
Nobody has claimed to own more than 363,636 bitcoins (it’s still primarily speculation that Satoshi Nakamoto has 1 million coins). Historically-speaking, how much would it have cost to purchase $1 billion worth of bitcoin in today’s market?
|Date||Bitcoin price||Historical cost of 363,636 Bitcoin (present value: $1 billion)|
|July 10, 2010||$0.06||$21,818.16|
|January 2, 2012||$6.18||$2,247,270.48|
|April 1, 2013||$133.76||$48,639,951.36|
|November 25, 2013||$979.45||$356,163,280.20|
|January 12, 2015||$214.08||$77,847,194.88|
|June 1, 2016||$2750||$1,000,000,000|
Do you feel like you missed out on your chance to become a bitcoin billionaire? For most of us with limited capital to invest (we’ll assume that few readers have $2 million to invest in Bitcoin), that opportunity closed sometime in late 2011.
How many bitcoin billionaires might we see in the future? It depends on just how high the price of bitcoin can go. Will we see the price of bitcoin surpass $5,000? $10,000? $25,000? Or has the price of bitcoin already hit its peak?
If the price of bitcoin were to rise to $25,000, it would take 40,000 bitcoins to pass $1 billion. If this were to be the case, there would be 21 bitcoin addresses containing at least $1 billion. More conservatively, if a bitcoin is worth $10,000, would require 100,000 bitcoins to pass the $1 billion mark. In this case, there would only be 3 bitcoin addresses associated with over $1 billion.
It’s fun to speculate on the idea of a bitcoin billionaire. Does this individual already exist? How many might there be in the future? What would it take to become a bitcoin billionaire in the future? However, for almost all of us, this idea will only remain in the abstract. Bitcoin millionaires, on the other hand…