Transparency is one of the most intriguing aspects of cryptocurrency and it was this openness that drew many early supporters to Bitcoin (BTC).
Blockchain technology makes all information associated with the network’s operation accessible for anyone interested in taking a look. Every known address, transaction, fee paid and other details relating to multisignature and SegWit usage is out in the open.
The top 15 wealthiest Bitcoin addresses have always been the centerpiece of attention for several reasons. Some crypto researchers habitually sort through the top addresses searching for the footsteps of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Others study data to track the maneuvers of crypto whales and predict market manipulation that results in volatile price swings in the Bitcoin price.
The top addresses have even caught the eye of government agencies like the United States Internal Revenue Service as well as the Treasury Department.
In fact, entire companies specializing in obtaining additional information on cryptocurrency addresses and their potential associations have been formed. It’s no secret that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service hired Chainalysis and Integra FEC, two crypto analytics firms, to track transactions.
More recently, under Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Department is considering whether or not a rule on self-hosted cryptocurrency wallets is required. If approved, these changes emphasize the importance of privacy for market participants.
Addresses are not the same as entities
As shown above, the top 15 addresses hold 1.07 million BTC, or 5.7% of the outstanding Bitcoin supply. At the current $26,500 price level, this equals $28.3 billion. While this is a large amount of Bitcoin, it’s also worth noting that BTC’s aggregated volume on spot exchanges surpasses $5 billion per day.
It’s important to note that an address’s initial deposit date does not mean that the entity owning…