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Who Owns The Most Bitcoin? Here Are The Five Biggest HODLers (plus a bonus!)

By RAIN EDITORIAL TEAM - Jun 19, 7:00 PM

Bitcoin has come a long way since its inception in 2009, establishing itself as the largest cryptocurrency in the world. As Bitcoin’s mainstream exposure continues to grow, a steadily growing stream of institutional investors are snapping up Bitcoin. Today, several major firms and even countries hold billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin on their books. While earlier, the idea of holding Bitcoin on a company’s books was considered laughable thanks to its volatility, the pandemic has flipped that notion on its head. As a result, MicroStrategy’s purchase of Bitcoin set off a domino effect, with several other companies following suit. This also allowed investors who couldn’t or chose not to buy Bitcoin to gain exposure to Bitcoin without actually purchasing the asset.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at which companies and institutions hold the most Bitcoin.

MicroStrategy

Image Credit:NewsBTC 

Bitcoins Owned: 129,298 BTC

MicroStrategy, under co-founder and CEO Michael Saylor, has pivoted towards Bitcoin in a big way and effectively turned into a Bitcoin proxy. MicroStrategy acquired its first Bitcoin in 2020 when it purchased $350 million worth of Bitcoin. The company continued purchasing more Bitcoin over the course of the year, acquiring over 70,000 BTC, valued at around $1.1 billion, swelling the company’s valuation. MicroStrategy continued to purchase Bitcoin each time the price dipped and, by the end of 2021, increased its Bitcoin holdings to $3.5 billion. Currently, Microstrategy has 129,298 BTC on its books, while Saylor personally holds 17,732 BTC. Morgan Stanley has purchased 10.9% of MicroStrategy as the company looks to get other companies to invest in BTC.

Tesla

Image Credit: Forbes

Bitcoins Owned: 48,000 BTC

Elon Musk’s Tesla also holds a significant number of Bitcoin in its books. In an SEC filing, the company revealed that it held 42,902 BTC on its books, worth over $2 billion. Tesla has stated that its Bitcoin purchase reflects Tesla’s intention to diversify its cash on hand and maximize its returns. In fact, going by their Twitter exchange, MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor has advised Musk about Tesla’s recent Bitcoin purchases. However, Musk, Tesla, and Bitcoin have had a rocky relationship. Musk had earlier announced that Tesla would begin accepting payments in Bitcoin before abruptly announcing a change of plans citing Bitcoin’s environmental impact as the primary reason behind the decision. However, Musk did announce that Tesla would begin accepting Bitcoin again once 50% of its miners have switched to clean energy. Data from CoinGecko shows that Tesla currently has 48,000 BTC.

The FBI

Image Credit:Wikimedia Commons

Bitcoins Owned: BTC worth $4 billion as of February 2022

Yes, you read that right. Uncle Sam has been hodling Bitcoin, and how! The US Government regularly seizes Bitcoin that has been sourced through illegal means. So far, the US government has auctioned off over 185,000 BTC, which was valued at $8.6 billion at the time of the auction. In 2021 alone, the US government had seized Bitcoin worth $1.2 billion, a significant increase on the numbers registered in 2020. According to data shared by Glassnode, Uncle Sam still holds over $4 billion in Bitcoin as of February 2022. The US government’s Bitcoin holdings are more than twice that of MicroStrategy and Tesla.

Block

Image Credit:Block Inc

Bitcoins Owned: 8207 BTC 

Financial payments company Block (formerly Square) has also invested considerably in Bitcoin, buying $50 million worth of Bitcoin in October 2020. Block’s interest in Bitcoin is unsurprising, considering CEO Jack Dorsey’s optimism towards the cryptocurrency. Dorsey also runs his own Bitcoin node. The company revealed in its Q4 2020 earnings statement that it had purchased an additional $170 million worth of Bitcoin. In 2018, Block’s Cash App, which allows person-to-person money transfers, announced that it would also allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin. Block has described its investment in Bitcoin as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to Bitcoin. Block currently holds 8207 BTC worth around $380 million.

El Salvador 

Image Credit:Coindesk

Bitcoins Owned: >2,300 BTC

The tiny Central American country of El Salvador has bet its entire economy on Bitcoin. President Nayib Bukele is extremely bullish on the world's largest cryptocurrency, passing the Bitcoin Law in 2021, and giving the world's largest cryptocurrency the status of legal tender within El Salvador. Despite stinging criticism of the decision to grant Bitcoin the status of legal tender, Bukele has continued to purchase Bitcoin at regular intervals, effectively "buying the dip." As of January 2022, El Salvador holds 1801 Bitcoin, and with Bukele a Bitcoin enthusiast, this number is sure to grow in the coming months. 

BONUS: Luna Foundation Guard (Before the May 9 crash)

Image Credit:CryptoTimes

Bitcoins Owned: 70,736 BTC prior to LUNA crash (313 BTC as per latest reports)

Before last week’s decimation of Luna after the de-pegging of the UST, the Luna Foundation Guard had in its custody a total of 70,736 BTC, valued at over $2 billion. The foundation held the Bitcoin as a forex reserve for Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST. However, the Bitcoin was not enough to shore up UST’s value. The foundation had recently provided a loan of $750 million, leaving the foundation with $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin in its reserves. However, the foundation’s publicly known wallet address shows that it has zero BTC. However, reports have now emerged that the Luna Foundation has sold all of its Bitcoin in an attempt to defend the UST's crumbling Dollar peg. As per the latest reports, the Luna Foundation Guard only has 313 BTC left in its reserves. 

In Closing

Despite Bitcoin having entered some choppy waters lately, investors and companies are still betting big on the cryptocurrency. With companies such as MicroStrategy and Tesla bullish on Bitcoin, we could see them scoop up some more Bitcoin in the coming weeks. Another factor that could prompt institutions to purchase Bitcoin would be the recent price drop, which could encourage these institutions to “buy the dip.” Whatever be the case, we could see the list above considerably increase their Bitcoin holdings.

If you are an individual based in the Middle East and are looking to purchase your own Bitcoin, look no further than Rain. you could get started with Rain. Rain offers bank-grade security for its assets.  Simply register and start trading.

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