Many people have made a great deal of money out of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, and we know that many of them have kept their huge gains a very private matter for reasons of their own; after all it is quite easy to remain anonymous when investing in bitcoin – one of its many attractions.
In fact, the top hundred bitcoin wallet holders combined hold over 3 million bitcoins, which at today’s price is worth £18.5 billion. In other words, the average bitcoin wealth of the top hundred players is around £18.5 million. Altogether it is estimated there are over 900 bitcoin millionaires globally.
While many remain anonymous, others are happy to talk about their gains and are justifiably proud of their new found wealth. Here are a few who don’t shy away from the public spotlight.
Otherwise known as the Winklevoss twins first came to fame for their clash with Mark Zuckerberg. The twins claimed that Zuckerberg stole their ideas for ConnectU in order to create Facebook. Their claim was upheld and Zuckerberg had to pay them $65 million compensation.
The money funded their venture capital company Math-Based Asset Services LLC, through which they launched a bitcoin exchange, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, in 2013. They also invested $1.5 million in Bitinstant, a bitcoin payment processor which was later discredited for money laundering. At one time the claimed to own 1% of all bitcoins and, if that isn’t enough, they also competed in a rowing event in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Tony Gallippi cofounded BitPay in 2011, a company that facilitated paying for goods and services with Bitcoin and today is the largest company of its kind with over 80 employees. He is often seen in the media speaking about cryptocurrencies, for which he is a strong evangelist. Originally a mechanical engineer, his bitcoin holding is in excess of £20 million and his net wealth is considerably higher.
Dave Carlson is a bitcoin miner and runs MegaBigPower, which is thought to be the largest Bitcoin mining operation in the world, and accounts for around 10% of all bitcoin mining. His mining rigs incorporate over 1.5 million special purpose BitFury mining devices and consume many megawatts of power. He started mining in his basement with a computer, and now he can summon over 2.2 petahash computing power; which is 2.2 quadrillion hashing calculations a second.
His personal bitcoin holding is over 5,000, which at current prices are worth over £30 million while MegaBigPower can mine over 8,000 bitcoins a month.
Roger Ver is one of the early Bitcoin evangelists and was actually born in Silicon Valley. His Bitcoin evangelism earned him the nickname of “Bitcoin Jesus.” He first founded a computer parts company called MemoryDealers.com which made him a millionaire by the tender age of 25. Later he renounced his US citizenship to become a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean.
His first Bitcoin investments were made in 2011. He invested in Bitinstant and later invested a million dollars in Kraken, Ripple, Bitpay and Blockchain.info. Later he started Bitcoinstore.com where items could be bought with bitcoin. Ultimately he would like conventional (fiat) currencies replaced with cryptocurrency. His bitcoin holdings are thought to be worth over $50 million.
Charlie Shrem was a cofounder of Bitinstant and the Bitcoin Foundation but suffered infamy when he was sentenced to two years in prison for money laundering, essentially aiding and abetting money transfer via bitcoins to the Silk Road market operation. He was an early investor in bitcoins; he bought a few hundred for just $3 a coin. Today his initial holding would be worth around $3 million though his current holding is worth over $30 million.
The big question remains: who exactly is Satoshi Nakamoto? The name is either a nom-de-plume or maybe he or she doesn’t exist at all and it is really a group of people. What we do know is he or they essentially invented Bitcoin and described it in a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. We also know that his bitcoin holding is one million bitcoins which at today’s price are worth around $8 billion. He also owns over $1 billion in Bitcoin Cash as a result of a recent bitcoin hard fork. We also know that he has never spent more than 500 bitcoins
Certainly, if he is real, he is the most elusive bitcoin multibillionaire on the globe and speculation as to his true identity has generated a raft of alternative conspiracy theories.