It has long been assumed that the assets of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto amount to one million Bitcoin and a corresponding number of forged coins such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Investigations by the BitMEX crypto exchange have now called this into question. But even according to the figures from BitMEX, the nucleus of Bitcoin remains a rich man, a rich woman or a rich collective.
One million Bitcoin for a crypto trader
This figure has been circulating since Sergio Lerner’s review of the first crypto trader of Bitcoin mining activities as Satoshi Nakamoto’s alleged BTC asset at the latest. Lerner came to this conclusion by investigating the extra noncents of the mined blocks in the first year since the birth of Bitcoin. Between January 3, 2009 (Genesis Day) and January 25, 2010 (block number 36288), a total of 1,814,400 BTCs were „mined“ – 63 percent of which were never spent. Lerner assumed that they belonged to one and the same crypto trader entity and that it was most likely Satoshi Nakomoto. The logic behind this claim was that the hashrate in 2009 was at a low level of about seven million hashes per second, which could be linked to the high dominance of a single miner.
„I can’t be 100% sure that all black dots are owned by Satoshi, but almost all belong to a single entity, and that entity began mining directly from Block 1 and with the same performance as the Genesis block.
BitMEX continues analysis
The crypto exchange BitMEX has based its investigation on the analysis results of Lerner. BitMEX also notes the existence of a dominant miner.
„Although there are strong indications of a dominant miner in 2009, we think the evidence is far less robust than many have assumed. Even if one is sure, the evidence only supports the claim that, in our view, the dominant miner could have produced significantly less than one million bitcoins.“
So is Nakomoto not a Bitcoin millionaire after all? Yes.
„600,000 to 700,000 Bitcoins are perhaps a better estimate“, it continues in the BitMEX analysis. If the estimate is correct, Nakamoto would „only“ hodl „Bitcoin“ worth 3.4 to 4 billion euros at the current Bitcoin rate.
One thing is certain: Whether 600,000 or one million BTC – should the owner of the coins decide to put them into circulation, this could well mess up the Bitcoin market. Of the 21 million Bitcoin that there can be at most, about four million are already considered irretrievably lost. Because if you lose your private key, you lose access to your coins. Also the alleged million Bitcoins, which are supposed to be in Nakamoto’s possession, belong to it. Estimates of the BTCs in circulation deduct these four million. It is unlikely that Nakomoto „burned“ his coins. So he said at his active time: „You should never delete a wallet“.