The top two richest Bitcoin wallets have over 1 billion USD. As of this writing, the Bitfinex cold wallet holds 172,236 bitcoins worth 1.27 billion USD and Binance, about 158,779 bitcoins worth 1.17 billion USD. Binance is the most active cryptocurrency exchange in the world with well over 1 billion USD in volumes per day, while Bitfinex is the largest USD to Bitcoin exchange.

In 3rd place is Bittrex’s cold wallet with 117,203 bitcoins worth 860 million USD, Huobi is in 4th place with 98,042 bitcoins worth 719 million USD, and Bitstamp’s cold wallet is close behind at 97,848 bitcoins worth 718 million USD. As the data show, the top 5 richest Bitcoin wallets are held by the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Beyond the top 5 are Bitcoin wallets whose ownership is unidentified, with tens of thousands of bitcoins in each wallet worth hundreds of millions of USD.  According to the available information, there are at 115 wallets that have more than 10,000 bitcoins.

The huge volumes of cryptocurrency, concentrated in few wallets has raised some concerns about the possibility of Bitcoin whales manipulating cryptocurrency prices. While this may be true for small-cap altcoins and low volume cryptocurrency exchanges, big cryptocurrency exchanges combinedly transact tens of thousands of Bitcoin on any given day. So, a whale wouldn’t have much influence over Bitcoin’s global price.

In total there are roughly 1,650 wallets (0.01% of all Bitcoin wallets) with more than 1,000 bitcoins, and these control 6.75 million bitcoins which is 40% of all the bitcoins in existence. This makes the ownership of Bitcoin in the world somewhat centralized, but the same can be said for any asset or currency. For example, the richest 1% of United States citizens control 40% of the nation’s wealth.

Only 3.2% of all Bitcoin addresses in existence have more than 1 Bitcoin, and addresses with more than 1 Bitcoin control 96% of all bitcoins in existence. 50% of all Bitcoin addresses have less than 0.001 Bitcoin, less than 10 USD, and probably a lot of these addresses simply have nothing in them. Bitcoin addresses are often thrown out since it is easy to create a new one, and it’s good practice to constantly change Bitcoin addresses to preserve anonymity and prevent hacking.

It is speculated that Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, owns more than 1 million bitcoins which would make him the richest Bitcoiner by far. However due to the partly anonymous nature of Bitcoin, it is difficult if not impossible to trace his bitcoins, and the same goes for any other Bitcoin whale that wants to keep their bitcoins hidden. Therefore, the Bitcoin rich list is not a proven way to know who really holds the most bitcoins in the world.

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