In recent weeks, buzz within the crypto sphere has centered on prominent bitcoin and ethereum holders. Some addresses are awash with speculation, while others have earned distinct labels. Interestingly, a handful have purportedly been unmasked, leading to many of the top ten BTC addresses being tagged. The following is a closer peek at the top ten bitcoin wallets featured in ‘Bitcoin’s Rich List’ of addresses.
From Exchanges to the U.S. Government — Shining a Light on the Largest Bitcoin Wallets in 2023
Recently, chatter in the crypto world zeroed in on the identity of the third-largest bitcoin (BTC) wallet. Both OXT researcher Ergo and crypto data analytics firm Arkham Intelligence believe it’s likely affiliated with Robinhood — a sentiment echoed on Arkham’s dashboard. However, as curiosity mounted about this wallet, wild and baseless rumors emerged around the fifth-largest BTC wallet, linking it to the late Yevgeny Prigozhin. Contrary to this fabrication or ‘tall tale,’ this particular wallet is overseen by U.S. government law enforcement officials. The following investigation offers a glimpse into our understanding of the top ten bitcoin wallets as of September 2023.
At the pinnacle of the famed ‘Bitcoin Rich List,’ spotlighting the top 100 wallets by BTC count, Binance holds the crown with the lead wallet. As of September 1, 2023, the wallet labeled “34xp4,” overseen by Binance, boasts a staggering 248,597 BTC, valued at $6.4 billion based on current BTC exchange rates. Created on October 18, 2018, its most recent transaction was on January 7, 2023. Given its nature as a cold wallet, in contrast to a frequently-used exchange hot wallet, it experiences limited activity.
On the first day of September 2023, the second-largest BTC wallet held 178,010 BTC worth $4.58 billion. The wallet, known as “bc1qg,” is owned and operated by the crypto exchange Bitfinex. It was created on February 2, 2020, and its most recent BTC transaction occurred on March 30, 2023. The third-largest wallet was recently identified as Robinhood’s cold wallet. Presently, the specific wallet “bc1ql” holds 118,300 BTC worth slightly over $3 billion. The fourth-largest BTC wallet is also controlled by Binance, and the address “39884” holds 115,177 BTC worth $2.9 billion.
The fifth wallet is owned and operated by the U.S. government, as indicated in the Arkham dashboard. This wallet, labeled as “bc1qa,” is associated with fabricated stories about the deceased Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin. The funds originate from the 2016 Bitfinex hack and were consolidated into the address when U.S. law enforcement officials seized the stash. The U.S. government’s stash of 94,643 BTC is valued at $2.4 billion. The sixth-largest bitcoin address, “37XuV,” lacks labeling on Arkham’s dashboard; however, an annotation from 2020 is available on the blockchain explorer oxt.me.
On January 19, 2020, a user named “Wolf755” claimed that the sixth-largest bitcoin wallet belonged to Huobi. The wallet was established on July 4, 2021, and no further funds have been sent since. This particular wallet holds 94,505 BTC worth $2.4 billion as of September 1, 2023. The seventh-largest BTC address, “1Feex,” is famous and labeled as the “Mt Gox Hacker” on Arkham. The eighth-largest BTC wallet on September 1 is “bc1qa,” controlled and owned by the U.S. government. The funds in this wallet originate from the Silk Road hack, and law enforcement intends to sell the coins this year. The “bc1qa” address holds approximately 69,370 BTC worth $1.78 billion.
The ninth-largest BTC wallet, known as “3LYJf,” is also owned by Binance. The 68,200 BTC worth $1.75 billion backs the synthetic bitcoin issued on the Binance Smart Chain, known as BTCB. On Arkham, it is labeled as the “BTCB Reserve,” created on November 18, 2022, with its last transaction also occurring on the same day. Lastly, the tenth-largest BTC address, “bc1qd,” appears to be unknown and holds 59,300 BTC worth $1.5 billion. On oxt.me, the onchain researcher Ergo annotates whether the wallet is BFX cold storage. This means that two of the top ten largest BTC wallets are unidentified or unflagged.
In the realm of Bitcoin’s elite wallets, Binance stands tall, holding a staggering 41.34% (431,974 BTC valued at approximately $11.1 billion) of the BTC from the top 10 addresses. Trading platforms, including Bitfinex, Robinhood, and possibly Huobi, collectively own 37.4% (390,815 BTC valued around $10 billion). The U.S. government supervises 15.6% (163,013 BTC, estimated at $4.2 billion), resulting from its law enforcement activities. Curiously, 5.67% (59,300 BTC worth about $1.5 billion) remains unidentified. This distribution paints a vivid picture of centralized exchanges and governmental bodies as dominant players in Bitcoin’s storage landscape.