A wallet held by the Binance team tops the list of the world’s one hundred richest, active Bitcoin addresses.
That is the claim of Bitinfocharts, a website dedicated to the collection and curation of cryptocurrency statistics, according to whom Binance is currently in possession of over 141,000 BTC – equivalent to $773 million dollars at the time of writing.
The statistics are compiled for active addresses only, i.e. wallets showing relatively recent incoming or outgoing transactions, and do not include so-called inactive wallets – including that of Satoshi Nakamoto – which may hold more Bitcoin but which appear to be either abandoned or held in long-term cold storage only.
The figure means that Binance possesses just under 1% of the 17 million or so Bitcoin currently in circulation. However, the vast majority of those holdings are thought to be held in custody by Binance on behalf of its users as opposed to belonging to the Binance platform itself.
Exchanges Dominate Top Ten
All top five addresses from the Bitcoin rich list belong to exchanges – Bitfinex’s own holdings only fall slightly behind those of Binance with just over 138,000 BTC held, whilst Huobi (108,000), Bittrex (107,000) and Bitstamp (98,000) occupy the remaining top five positions.
It is thought that just over 100 Bitcoin addresses collectively hold around 20% of all Bitcoin in existence, an observation which once prompted science fiction author Charles Stross to comment that this lack of distribution in the “Bitcoin economy is ghastly, and getting worse, to the extent that it makes a sub-Saharan African kleptocracy look like a socialist utopia.”