- Bitcoin is one of the most profitable financial instruments of all time, but tracking how many people got rich from it is challenging.
- Under the assumption that one address = one owner, there are over 93,000 Bitcoin millionaires today.
- There are now over 800 Bitcoin addresses holding over $100m in BTC.
In its short lifespan, the Bitcoin price has gone from less than a cent to highs of nearly $59,000. Unsurprisingly, it’s made some people rich along the way; what isn’t so clear-cut is exactly how many lucky individuals hit the jackpot.
One of the simplest ways to check is to look at the number of Bitcoin millionaires; in other words, anybody owning at least $1 million worth of the cryptocurrency.
Although the term has been thrown around for almost as long as Bitcoin has existed, it’s difficult to put an exact number on how many Bitcoin millionaires there are at any one time. But here's what we do know.
Defining a Bitcoin Millionaire
Since Bitcoin has a public ledger, nailing down the number of Bitcoin millionaires should be a simple matter of checking the number of Bitcoin addresses containing more than $1 million worth of BTC. At Bitcoin's current price of $48,627 (as of March 2, 2021), this means anybody owning at least 20.56 BTC (or thereabouts) could be considered a Bitcoin millionaire.
According to data from Buy Bitcoin Worldwide, Bitcoin has a 60-day average daily volatility of 5.35%. This means that on average, the price of Bitcoin has fluctuated by 5.35% each day for the last two months. This volatility can affect how many Bitcoin millionaires there are, by either raising or lowering the threshold required to qualify.
Similarly, due to the number of shared Bitcoin wallets (e.g. exchanges and custodians), deterministic wallets, and multi-signature wallets, simply assuming that 1 address = 1 holder can be slightly misleading.
What we can say is that any address containing more than ~20.56 BTC is either a Bitcoin millionaire or a firm that controls more than $1 million in user funds—for the most part.
So how many Bitcoin millionaires are there?
As per data from BitInfoCharts, there are currently 93,479 Bitcoin addresses with a balance of $1 million or above. However, due to the fact that an unknown number of Bitcoin holders may hold multiple addresses that sum to more than $1 million, while several addresses containing more than $1 million in BTC may be owned by the same person, it's best to consider this figure a rough estimate.
In addition, there are around 420,098 addresses containing more than $100,000 worth of Bitcoin and over 2 million containing at least $10,000 worth. Overall, of the more than 36.3 million addresses tracked by BitInfoCharts, just 0.26% can be considered millionaires at today's rates.
For comparison, there are roughly 18.6 million individuals with a net worth of $1 million or more in the United States—equivalent to around 5.7% of the adult population. As such, there are roughly 200 times fewer Bitcoin millionaires as a proportion of Bitcoin users, than there are adult millionaires in the US.
To put this into perspective, just over a year ago, there were around 25,000 Bitcoin millionaires. This means Bitcoin's recent bull run has helped to more than triple the number of Bitcoin millionaires in a year.
Beyond this, around one in every 12.5 Bitcoin millionaires actually hold more than $10 million worth of Bitcoin, while there are over 800 addresses containing more than $100 million in BTC. Just 40 addresses would currently qualify for the Bitcoin billionaire club (still more than tripling in a year). The wealthiest address currently in existence has a balance of 141,452 BTC, worth around $6.9 billion. This address is the cold wallet for Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, meaning it is formed from the deposits of potentially thousands of Huobi users—its value hasn't changed since last year.
With so few Bitcoin millionaires, it's clear that Bitcoin has achieved better distribution than many fiat currencies—helping to ensure a more even spread of crypto wealth. And if expert predictions are to believed, Bitcoin could be worth between $400,000 and $10 million in the near future—meaning anybody holding as little as $4,000 in Bitcoin today could one day stand a shot at joining the ranks of Bitcoin millionaires.