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Celebrities and Bitcoin Whales, Two Different Animals

A recent article on Business Insider featured 13 celebrities who back cryptocurrency and may own millions in bitcoin. The important word in their headline is MAY, since their ownership isn’t verified.

Bill Gates credit:Reuters/Charles Platlau

Who are 13 celebrities who are publicly pro-bitcoin?

  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Bill Gates
  • Paris Hilton
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Ashton Kutcher
  • Hugh Laurie
  • Mike Tyson
  • Pitbull
  • Lionel Messi
  • Mel B (Scary Spice)
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr.
  • Madonna
  • Johnny Depp

Notably missing from this list of celebrities is rapper 50 Cent, who was rumored by TMZ to have accepted 700 bitcoins as payment for his album “Animal Ambition” back in 2014. This was speculated to be worth over $8 million, but in a recent bankruptcy filing, 50 Cent admits that he never actually owned any bitcoin. The earned bitcoin was reportedly converted to US dollars by a third party, and 50 Cent was paid in dollars, not bitcoin. His philosophy, though, is “so long as a press story is not irreparably damaging to my image or brand, I usually do not feel the need to publicly deny the reporting.”

So Who Are the Bitcoin Whales?

“Bitcoin whale” is crypto slang for a person or entity who owns a lot of bitcoin, and while the celebrities listed above may own bitcoin worth millions, they’re not the biggest bitcoin wallets out there. Crypto forensic firm Chainalysis examined the 32 biggest whales and determined that they are a very diverse group that falls into 4 basic types: traders, miners and early adopters, lost wallets, and criminals. Interestingly, many bitcoin wallets in the top 100 richest haven’t been touched in a long time and are considered “dormant” wallets. Some of these may fall into the “lost wallets” category.

As of this publication date, the 100 largest Bitcoin wallets own over 2.7 million bitcoin which is nearly 16% of the total number of bitcoin out there. Today that’s worth more than $9.5 billion. The top 10,000 bitcoin wallets represent 57.86% of all bitcoin ever mined. The remaining 42.14% is owned by the remaining 21.99 million bitcoin wallets! BitInfoCharts.com keeps current information on six different cryptocurrencies and it’s full of fascinating facts if you want to venture down that rabbit hole.

Some bitcoin whales that we know of, in no particular order, who appear to hold the biggest bitcoin wallets, are:

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