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Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, is holding onto $25 billion in Bitcoin reserves, an amount that rivals the holdings of Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto.
In a post by Arkham Intelligence on Saturday, the company identified an estimated $25 billion in Bitcoin held in about 36 million wallets belonging to Coinbase and used for depositing and holding the tokens. The largest identified cold wallet holds about 10,000 Bitcoin, which is worth about $265 million as of this writing, according to Coingecko data.
Arkham's estimate is based only on the wallets identified as being connected to Coinbase, but the firm suggests that this amount is close to the estimated amount held by Bitcoin's founder.
"This [amount] makes Coinbase the largest Bitcoin entity in the world on Arkham, with almost 5% of all BTC in existence," the company wrote in a tweet.
Nakamato's exact identity remains unknown fifteen years after the Bitcoin white paper appeared on an online messenger board for cryptographers. Like the enigmatic creator's identity, the exact size of Nakamoto's Bitcoin holdings remains a mystery.
Between January and July 2009, Satoshi is thought to have mined more than 1 million BTC in total when Bitcoin's value was below the value of a penny. At today’s value, this would equal more than $26 billion. If true, this would make Nakamoto one of the biggest crypto whales today—but there has not been a definitive verification of his ownership of these wallets.
Trading in Bitcoin and Bitcoin pairs comprises a significant portion of Coinbase’s trading volume. In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Coinbase said that trading in Bitcoin made up 40% of its total volumes, and about 39% in its transaction revenue.
Arkham estimates that the wallets it connected to Coinbase may be an incomplete figure based on the exchange’s stated financials. In Coinbase’s most recent 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it estimated that it held $60.7 billion in customer assets and liabilities in Bitcoin.