Bitcoin is the largest blockchain-based digital asset, with a market capitalization of $755.9 billion as of April 23, 2022. It is wildly popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and speculative investors. Several wealthy business owners and entrepreneurs have invested heavily in this digital asset. Here are the leading investors in Bitcoin, compiled from financial reports and media outlets.
- Barry Silbert is the founder of Digital Currency Group, which owns Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, Coinbase, and Coindesk.
- Micheal Saylor is the CEO of Microstrategy, which is investing heavily in bitcoin.
- Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are believed to be the first bitcoin billionaires, reportedly holding about 100,000 coins.
- Elon Musk's company Tesla purchased $1.5 billion in bitcoin in 2021.
- Michael Novogratz founded Galaxy Digital Holdings, a broker-dealer and cryptocurrency and digital asset management firm.
1. Barry Silbert
Barry Silbert is the founder and chief executive officer of Digital Currency Group. The company aims to accelerate the development of the global financial system by building and supporting bitcoin and blockchain companies. Digital Currency Group has invested in 168 blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related companies.
Other portfolio companies include Genesis, a liquidity provider—an entity that funds a pool with cryptocurrency—for cryptocurrency buyers and sellers in the over-the-counter market. Digital Currency Group also owns Grayscale Investments, which manages the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), an investment vehicle that holds $25.3 billion in bitcoin as of April 23, 2022, and gives investors exposure to its price movements.
2. Micheal Saylor
The cofounder and CEO of business intelligence firm Microstrategy, Micheal Saylor, believes that cryptocurrency is the next biggest investment. Microstrategy increased its bitcoin holdings in December 2021, purchasing 1,434 bitcoins for about $84 million. The company holds a total of 122,478 bitcoins.
The total value of someone's bitcoins changes with the market price, so an investor's cryptocurrency portfolio may not always have the same dollar value.
3. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are investors in several cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related businesses, most notably the privately-owned Gemini exchange. They are believed to be the first to reach billionaire status by investing in bitcoin, reportedly holding about 70,000 coins, according to Forbes.
The Winklevoss twins launched the Gemini exchange in 2015. The company allows investors to buy, sell and store their digital assets. Gemini launched bitcoin futures on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in December 2017.
4. Elon Musk
Elon Musk is the CEO and cofounder of Tesla (and other companies). Tesla engineers and builds electric vehicles and clean energy products. As an innovative company standing at the forefront of technology, it should be expected that it would own cryptocurrency—Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in 2021 to begin accepting it as a form of payment.
5. Michael Novogratz
Michael Novogratz, a former hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group and partner at Goldman Sachs, is a frequent commentator on bitcoin price action. He is the founder, CEO, and chair of Galaxy Digital Holdings, a broker-dealer that offers a full range of blockchain-related asset services.
Galaxy Digital Holdings has interests in nearly every digital asset that has value. Its latest quarterly report mentions restricted cryptocurrency that uses the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism—which means GHD is investing in cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, which is migrating to PoS.
Galaxy Digital focuses on digital assets; in the third quarter of 2021, it purchased $62 million worth of non-fungible token (NFT) related companies. NFTs are digital assets that use blockchain technology for security and ownership identification. They became popular in 2021 after digital art secured by NFT technology began selling for millions of dollars.
Galaxy reports $1.9 billion in "unrestricted" cryptocurrency in its third-quarter financial report, of which $608.5 million are held in managed funds and $159.6 million are held in General Partner interest. It's likely that the company holds roughly $768.1 million in bitcoin as of its 2021 third-quarter report.
How Do Beginners Buy Bitcoins?
You can buy Bitcoin on several exchanges, such as Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, or Gemini.
What Are the Dangers of Bitcoin?
The loss of capital is the most significant risk when you invest in Bitcoin because its price is very volatile. You can gain or lose thousands of dollars in one day.
How Do You Convert Bitcoin Into Cash?
You can convert Bitcoin to cash by selling it on a cryptocurrency exchange and moving the funds into your bank account.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns 0.001 Bitcoin.