Bitcoin is a digital or virtual currency that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments. Bitcoin trades on a decentralized ledger called a blockchain and is verified by a massive amount of computing power.
Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.
As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.
The identity of the person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto is still unknown. Nakamoto released the Bitcoin software in 2009, and he is estimated to hold 1 million bitcoins or more, making him one of the richest people in Bitcoin.
Nakamoto’s involvement with Bitcoin did not appear to extend beyond developing the software and posting occasional messages on the Bitcoin forum. He disappeared from view in 2010, and there has been much speculation about his true identity.
While Nakamoto’s identity remains a mystery, it is clear that he or she was instrumental in developing Bitcoin and bringing it to prominence. For this reason, Nakamoto is often referred to as the “founder” of Bitcoin, although it is unclear if this title is deserved given his or her apparent lack of involvement in the currency’s day-to-day operations.
Today, there are many wealthy individuals involved in Bitcoin. Some have made their fortune by investing early in the currency, while others have built businesses that allow users to buy, sell, and mine bitcoins.
While it’s impossible to know exactly who the richest person in Bitcoin is, we can take a look at some of the most prominent figures in the community to get an idea.
Investor Tyler Winklevoss is perhaps best known for his role in Facebook’s creation story. He and his brother Cameron were early investors in the social media giant, famously suing Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea.
The twins have also been active investors in bitcoin since 2013. In April 2018, they claimed to own approximately 1% of all bitcoins in circulation (worth over $1 billion at the time).
Another early investor is Roger Ver, often referred to as “Bitcoin Jesus.” Ver was an early adopter of bitcoin and an active promoter of its use.
He has invested heavily in bitcoin-related startUPS and has also given away large amounts of bitcoins to people who support his vision for the currency’s future.
Ver’s net worth is difficult to estimate due to the largely anonymous nature of bitcoin, but it is safe to say that he is one of the richest people involved with the currency today.
Barry Silbert is another well-known figure in the bitcoin community. Silbert is the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), a venture capital firm that has invested in many prominent bitcoin and blockchain startUPS including Coinbase, BitPay, and Xapo.
DCG also owns CoinDesk, one of the leading news and information sites for all things bitcoin and blockchain.
In 2015, Silbert was estimated to have a net worth between $600 million and $700 million thanks largely to his early investments in companies like Twitter, Tumblr, and Square. It’s safe to say that his net worth has only grown since then given DCG’s continued success in investing in some of the most popular bitcoin startUPS.