The Bitcoin world has its own little vocabulary with unique, often funny sounding terms come in place for various phenomena. You may have heard of the terms FUD (Fear and Uncertainty), FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), etc being used by traders in articles, youtube videos and Tweets. One of these terms is Bitcoin whale.
A whale is a Bitcoin address, often associated with one person or group, who has a lot of Bitcoin at their disposal. While the very nature of Bitcoin means that a lot of Bitcoin is moved around the world, but whales are often associated with relatively longer term investors who hold on to it at least for some time. Whales have considerable influence within the Bitcoin world and are instrumental in shaping the short-term outlook of the market. So, it is beneficial for us to keep in check with the top Bitcoin whales, who are generally trend setters and see what they are doing with their crypto. Any sudden movements can be tracked and thus, traders can react accordingly.
Here are the top 10 Bitcoin whales in the world:
1. Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first million Bitcoin probably using his home personal computer back in 2008 and 2009. These Bitcoin haven’t entered the market till now after 11 years and they may remain off the circulation for some time. Satoshi was an acronym for the founder of Bitcoin network and many people believe that he isn’t one person but rather a group of researchers who came up with the idea.
If the current valuation is considered, Satoshi’s Bitcoin are worth more than $9 billion making him richer than Mark Cuban and some of the other more well known billionaires. It is, however, expected that this Satoshi entity won’t liquidate his coin because everybody would be looking for the founder of Bitcoin. So basically, this Bitcoin is a cursed treasure that may possibly never enter the market. However, it remains to be the single largest Bitcoin whale in existence.
2. Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI)
The FBI is the US federal agency that investigates large scams and federal crimes. Since Bitcoin, just like regular money is sometimes involved in these shady deals, the FBI reportedly got loads of Bitcoin in the process and if they have kept HODLing, it would be the second-largest stockpile of the cryptocurrency anywhere in the world.
During an investigation of the Silk Road, more than 144,000 BTC were confiscated but it is also reported that most of this crypto was sold and only a small margin left behind. However, FBI has also raided and stored Bitcoin from multiple resources so it is difficult to predict their latest tally, but one thing for sure is that they remain to be one of the largest whales in the Bitcoin world.
3. The Winklevoss Twins
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Bitcoin early adopters and influencers of the early development of Facebook itself also have considerable accumulated Bitcoin. Both of them invested around $11 million in Bitcoin back in 2013 totalling 1% of the total supply at that time. Now this crypto is worth more than $600 million according to latest valuation with some estimates suggesting they have much more than this amount overall.
The Winklevoss twins remain one of the most influential personalities in the Bitcoin world overall. Together they are worth more than $5 billion.
4. Micree Zhan
He is the founder of Bitmain, the world’s largest Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) mining equipment manufacturer in the world. It is estimated that a part of every new mining equipment sale goes to Bitmain’s own mining farms and thus, they always remain ahead of the competition. While Jihan himself is worth $4 billion according to different estimates, only a part of his total worth is in the form of Bitcoin as Bitmain has considerable fiat business and cannot survive without it.
Zhan was also an early adapter of Bitcoin.
5. Jihan Wu
The other co-founder of Bitmain also has a considerable worth more or same as Micree Zhan’s figures. He is also thought to be worth around $4 billion overall. Together, they are considered among the top crypto personalities in China and the world as well.
6. Charlie Sherem
The focal person behind the Silk Road operations, Charlie Shrem bought Bitcoin when it was around $3 back in 2012 and therefore, should have hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin to his name by now with some estimates considering an even larger worth. However, there is no way to be sure of the exact figure as it usually is with Bitcoin millionaires and billionaires.
7. Tim Draper
Draper was an early investor in Skype and has so far made several other profitable investments as well. He famously bought 30,000 BTC from a government auction for around $17 million a few years back. This investment alone makes his Bitcoin worth $150 million. Apart from Bitcoin, he has also invested considerably in Tezos.
8. Barry Silbert
Barry Silbert reportedly bought a bulk of the public auction of the crypto recovered from Silkroad which was around 48,000 BTC @$350 each. This makes it around $400 million but he reportedly sold a bunch of it in between as well. He is our 8th Bitcoin whale.
While cryptocurrency exchanges reportedly have the largest accumulation of Bitcoins in the world, most of these tokens donot belong to them, but the traders participating on these exchanges. However, Huobi wins a mention here as it was reportedly perpetrator of one of the biggest transactions in the history of the Bitcoin world. This massive 94,505 Bitcoin transaction was recorded back in September 2019 and was worth around $1 billion at that time.
This remains to be one of the single biggest transactions in the world. While exchanges cannot be considered top 10 whales directly, they do hold a considerable influence on the process and may even manipulate the prices using their reserves.
10. North Korean Regime
It is a well-known open secret that the North Korean government launched several famous cyber attacks especially on cryptocurrency exchanges based in South Korea, its regional and political rival. Bithumb, Coincheck, etc were among just a few cryptocurrency exchanges hacked by the North Korean government hackers and their Bitcoin were liquidated into wallets. While these wallets are monitored round the clock to report shady transactional activity, it is a fact that the North Korean government has a considerable buildup of Bitcoin at its disposal.
Again, nobody knows for sure how much they own right now but it could be worth Billions. So, the North Korean regime can be considered a Bitcoin whale, perhaps the largest one if the top estimates are considered.
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