The Bitcoin Billionaires we will discuss in this reading all saw an opportunity to participate in an asset that solves a lot of the friction within the financial industry across the world. While allowing individuals to custody their own funds without the need for commercial banks, Bitcoin continues to be used as a savings technology that cannot be confiscated by any entity for any reason. Failing economies and the arbitrary suspensions from major banks is a serious issue that disqualifies individuals from participating in economies. No matter what your political beliefs, if a person is deemed “nefarious” without any evidence of wrongdoing, we must not ask if, but when will these institutions ban us as well? Where do banks draw the line for who can and cannot participate in their service? Early adopters asked themselves these same questions and have profited handsomely with their conviction.
Bitcoin Billionaire Profiles
Title(s): Tyler Winklevoss - CEO of Gemini, Cameron Winklevoss - President of Gemini
Estimated amount: 180,000 BTC - 210,000 BTC
Arguably the most well known twins in the business world, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have always been on the cutting-edge of technology. After their first endeavor in the founding of HarvardConnection, now known as ConnectU, they have gained a considerable amount of attention with their endeavors in Bitcoin and the founding of the Gemini exchange. They continue to work with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to bring a Bitcoin ETF to the traditional finance markets.
Title: CEO of Social Capital LP
Estimated amount: Up to 1,000,000 BTC
Chamath Palihapitiya is a venture capitalist who started his career as a derivatives trader with BMO Nesbitt Burns. He eventually went on to become Vice President and General Manager at AOL, Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, and then eventually founding his own venture capital firm, Social Capital LP. Seeking to find solutions for many of the world’s challenges, Bitcoin certainly fit the bill for Palihapitiya. It is unclear how much Bitcoin he and his firm hold but at one point it was about 5% of the total supply. Palihapitiya continues to find companies and opportunities that address the underlying issues people face while advocating to have at least 1% of your wealth in Bitcoin.
Title: CEO of GrayScale and Digital Currency Group
Estimated amount: 430,000 BTC under management
Barry Silbert began his career in finance with Houlihan Lokey to then move onto establishing a series of his own financial services companies such as; Restricted Stock Partners, SecondMarket Inc. (acquired by NASDAQ private market in 2015), GrayScale, and Digital Currency Group. He began his journey into Bitcoin around 2012 as one of the most active investors in the space. Grayscale currently holds around 2% of Bitcoin’s total supply as of this writing. That number will continue to increase as the investment firm executes daily purchases of Bitcoin in order to provide exposure for their current and new clients.
Title: Creator of Bitcoin
Estimated amount: Up to 1,000,000 BTC
Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudo-anonymous creator of Bitcoin and core contributor to the Bitcoin network from 2009 to 2011. It is unknown whether Satoshi was a single person, group, or entity because of how much knowledge was required from a multitude of fields in order to develop an open-source project like Bitcoin. Nevertheless, it is important to include Satoshi in this list because he is one of the few known Bitcoin Billionaires in the world. His current endeavors are unknown and all of his speculated Bitcoin have yet to be moved. However, there is a theory floating around that Satoshi may have a secondary stash not tied to any of the earlier wallets.
You too have the chance to be a Bitcoin Billionaire
Of course, these billionaires are billionaires when their wealth is denominated in US dollars. In terms of satoshis, each one of them would be considered Bitcoin trillionaires. It is important to understand that it takes a lot less than most think to become a Bitcoin billionaire. By denominating your wealth in satoshis, a Bitcoiner will only need 10 BTC to earn the rank of Bitcoin Billionaire. A fair amount of money for most and a feat for the majority of the world. If you are lucky enough to fall under the median wealth in any of the top 15 countries, you may have a chance to catch up.
Do you really want others to know you’re a Bitcoin Billionaire?
This is a personal decision that must not be taken lightly. In 99.99% of cases, the answer is no. You are better off not letting others know how much Bitcoin you own to avoid scrutiny from the public. Hinting at a ballpark figure may even be too much information. The best scenario is if you’re starting your Bitcoin journey with another friend or group of people who are competitive in outdoing one another. Most Bitcoiners at this stage are islands unto themselves and won’t know too many fellow Bitcoiners unless they recruit friends, family, or attend a meetup.
What you can do to become a Bitcoin Billionaire
It is a grand achievement all by itself to acquire 0.5-1.0 BTC let alone 10 BTC. To acquire 1 billion satoshis will put you in a different league. It is not impossible but depending on your line of work and take home pay, it would disqualify the majority of the world from becoming a Bitcoin billionaire. If we were to ignore all of the lost coins, estimated to be anywhere from 3 to 4 million, that would mean the maximum amount of Bitcoin billionaires would be 21,000,000 / 10 = 2.1 million people. Currently, about 150,000 wallets hold 10 or more BTC but most Bitcoiners have access to multiple wallets.
As Bitcoin adoption continues to grow, the higher the chance that Bitcoin will mint a new class of billionaires. Those who seek truth in numbers without the worry of human manipulation will benefit greatly from this new era. Some of these Bitcoin billionaires may not adhere to the values of Bitcoin, but most will and because of that, they have an enormous amount of responsibility for which direction society will move toward in the future. Of course, they are not obligated to do anything with their wealth for others, but many of them will have families and because of their long term approach with Bitcoin, they will take an active interest in how the world develops for their children. Investments in their children’s future will ultimately benefit society as a whole.