Over 82,000 Bitcoin Addresses Are Now Valued at More Than $1 Million
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Over 82,000 Bitcoin Addresses Are Now Valued at More Than $1 Million

If we compare Bitcoin wealth and address distribution from 2017-2021, there are some key takeaways.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Who would have thought that belief in the power of once-fringe innovation could churn out so many millionaires in a single decade? Taking note of this trend, it would be wise to remember why it happened in the first place.

24% Rise in Bitcoin Millionaires—In Just One Month

After a week’s turmoil, Bitcoin’s price is recovering, as expected based on some telling indicators. However, notice how spoiled people’s expectations have become. Just over a month ago, at the beginning of December 2020, BTC was selling for under $20k.

Once it broke the $40k threshold on January 9th 2021, a dual response occurred:

  • Non-HODLers selling their BTC to reap the all-time-high gains, alongside miners to recoup their expenditures.
  • The same non-HODLers panicking at the sudden but expected price correction.

All of this happened within less than a week, with mainstream headlines bemoaning Bitcoin treachery. As the BTC price continues to oscillate between $35k and $40k, this is a good time to remind ourselves that Bitcoin continues to create wealth at an outstanding pace.

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Compared to December, when 66,540 BTC addresses were valued at over $1 million, in January, 82,872 have surpassed the one million range, marking a 24.5% rise in those who joined the coveted millionaire club. To emphasize Bitcoin as a wealth generator, a millionaire today would have had to mine only a single BTC between 2009 – 2012!

Comparative Bitcoin Wealth and Address Distribution: 2017 – 2021

It took Bitcoin three years to break through the near-$20k price resistance achieved in 2017, which makes for a good comparative starting point. Although the Top 100 Richest Bitcoin Addresses distribution doesn’t tell us the ties between Bitcoin wallets and Bitcoin addresses, if we use the same model comparatively – between 2017 and 2021 – some trends become apparent.

For starters, the number of Bitcoin addresses has increased from 19,562,222 in 2017 to 33,919,799 in 2021.

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This marks an increase in the number of Bitcoin addresses by 73.39%. As you can see, people who are still holding less than 1 BTC constitute the vast majority – about 98% of addresses, which is not likely to change in the future if the BTC price keeps heading toward $100k.

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When we take a look at Bitcoin distribution, we are seeing a continuation of a trend – centralization of Bitcoin’s wealth.

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People who own less than 1 BTC increased by 2%. Likewise, people who own between 1000 and 10,000 BTC has increased by 8%. This was somewhat offset by the 5% decrease within the 10,000 – 100,000 BTC range.

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In short, this makes Bitcoin one of the most successful early-adoption ventures in history. Nonetheless, only time will tell how the rise of CBDCs will affect Bitcoin’s market sentiment. Without anti-crypto regulation in the future, CBDCs may very well boost decentralized cryptocurrencies, according to the Grayscale Asset Management report.

The Lesson of Early Adoption

Interestingly, the phrase “early adopter” was first coined all the way back in 1962 by sociologist Everett Rogers. The innovation adoption cycle follows a bell curve.

Image credit: ThoughtWorks.com

If this reminds you of another bell curve, you would be correct. If we flip the numbers on the X-axis from highest to lowest, it would match the IQ distribution.

Image credit: ClipartKey.com

Such overlap would apply to Bitcoin adoption the most. It is no secret that the crypto space always held a reputation as the domain of “nerds”. A decentralized innovation like Bitcoin, lacking the commercial aspects of a product to drive it forward, had to rely for many years on the cognitive capacity of individuals to be recognized as valuable.

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Furthermore, Bitcoin had been intensely maligned and dismissed across the mainstream media. This meant that only those who had an independent streak and incisive cognition would’ve been able to resist the atmosphere of dismissal. Now that we are entering the “late majority” phase in Bitcoin adoption, early adopters’ wealth looks to be multiplied to new heights.

When you first heard of Bitcoin, was it in a positive or negative context? Let us know in the comments below.

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