Bitcoin Billionaires Hiding in Plain Sight
Bitcoin’s anonymous yet transparent nature makes for some interesting reading
when trawling through the easily accessible information on the top wallets out there. While these top 10 wallets, do not have names attached to them, some are easy to figure out. The Winklevoss twins made history in early December by becoming the first widely accepted Bitcoin Billionaires. It was estimated at the time of print that the twins held 91,666 which equated to $1.063 bln. However, these high profile twins are one of the few that are solidly in the spotlight that it is easy to speculate on their wealth. It is believed that there could be far more Bitcoin Billionaires out there, lurking in the shadow.
Distributed funds on a distributed ledger
If it was the norm to hold all our funds in one wallet, it would be easy to put together a rich list and speculate who belongs where. However, not only does Bitcoin’s anonymity but its practices of good coin storage, also make things difficult. The normal procedure, especially for those whose funds are closer to billions than hundreds like most mere mortals, is to split the wealth over a number of wallets and other storage methods. It is a lesson that everyone should heed when it comes to keeping one’s fortune on the wild west that is Bitcoin exchanges.
As many as 200 Billionaires
A representative for BitInfoCharts, who wished to remain anonymous because of security concerns, told MSN in an email that, given Bitcoin’s current overall market capitalization and that most people hold Bitcoin at multiple addresses, there may actually be as many as 200 Bitcoin billionaires, and possibly no fewer than 35.
The rep noted that it’s likely most of these addresses are owned by exchanges or hedge funds. A billionaire could keep on being created without much work needing to be done by some of the more than 100 addresses that already have over $100 mln in Bitcoin currently. The growth of Bitcoin has turned many people into millionaires and is doing the same with those people taking the step up to billionaires.
Better to hide in plain sight?
If there are so many of these billionaires out there making a massive profit from some savvy early investing or clever trading perhaps, why are they so hidden and secretive? The king of secrecy and anonymity is, of course, Bitcoin's creator Satoshi Nakamoto who has been estimated to be sitting on one mln Bitcoins. Much has been made over Nakamoto's reasoning for remaining hidden and seemingly out of all Bitcoin activity, but there is also speculation mounting over his fortune which could be rivaling some of the richest men in the world.
The circling regulatory wolves
Of course, one of the biggest reason for remaining hidden when you are sitting on enough money to buy an island is the tax and regulatory implications that could come into play if you were to suddenly show your face. Regulators are playing a game of treat the symptom, not the disease when it comes to Bitcoin as they struggle to keep up. This has seen tax agencies still scratching their heads, leaving massive loopholes for Bitcoiners. However, those with massive fortunes who are publicly known would most likely be the first in the firing line.