This amazing thing about Bitcoin is that, given it is run on blockchain technology, one can jump on-chain and get all kinds of data.
If I was trying to find the number of bank accounts in the world containing $1 million, it would be a pretty difficult task. I’m willing to bet I might run into just a little bit of GDPR trouble if I sent a mail out to every bank I know asking them to tell me how many of their customers hold $1 million in their account.
For Bitcoin, however, the beauty of the blockchain means I can simply open my laptop and check for myself how many accounts hold Bitcoin.
To be clear, it is not an exact science. It is hard to know how many addresses may belong to one person. It can also be a challenge to ascertain which addresses are institutional and which are owned by individuals. However, overall you can get a pretty good picture.
I was curious to see how many people in the world owned one bitcoin or greater, with 1 BTC trading at about $20,000 at time of writing. So I plotted it.
The chart shows the rise, highlighting quite how many people have bought into this magical orange coin. The total number of addresses holding one bitcoin is closing in on one million, which is a huge number.
But how did the recent turmoil affect this? Are more people selling, or are more accumulating higher amounts of Bitcoin at these lower prices? I zoomed in on the 2022 timeframe – more or less the bear market, in other words – to see what has happened.
The chart shows that the amount of people holding one Bitcoin or greater – Bitcoiners? Whole coiners? – has increased steadily as the price of one Bitcoin has tumbled this year. Starting the year at 814,000 addresses, this number has risen 12%, to the 909,000 we are currently seeing.
That means about 2.4% of addresses on the network contain greater than 1 bitcoin. Another way to put that is 1 in 50 bitcoin holders are whole-coiners.