On Tuesday, London-based consultancy firm for the super-rich, Henley & Partners, released its first-ever report on global crypto wealth, depicting how blockchain-based capital is distributed and where it is kept.
According to the investigation, of the estimated 425 million crypto holders worldwide, only 0.02% are millionaires (88,200). Billionaires represent an even less tangible fraction, with just 22 individuals (5 millionths of one percent) having crypto holdings of $1 billion or more.
Around half of the 88,200 crypto millionaires (40,500) hold at least $1 million purely in bitcoin, but according to Henley & Partners, over half of the total number of crypto users (215 million) hold no bitcoin at all.
When taking a closer look at the very top of the tree, only six of the 22 individuals (27%) are Bitcoin billionaires, with the rest achieving that status only when considering their entire crypto wealth.
Rather than an investment premonition, these numbers are an attestation of the entrepreneurial spirit that moves the crypto world, as the ultra-rich mostly keep their fortunes in the native tokens of the projects they built from the ground up.
On the podium for the crypto greatest fortunes sit Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, Song Chi-hyung, the founder of South Korea's leading crypto exchange, Dumanu, and Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong.
Other notable entrepreneurs in the top 22 are Jed McCaleb (Mt.Gox, Ripple), Chris Larsen (Ripple), Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss (Gemini), Dan Larimer (Block.one), and Anthony Di Iorio (co-founder of Ethereum).
Following a transformative year for the crypto industry, when governments around the globe sharpened their regulatory and taxation pencils in the name of 'protecting consumers', the report stems from Henley & Partners’ need to advise prospective clients.
“We have seen a significant spike in enquiries from crypto millionaires over the past six months, who are all looking to build a viable ‘Plan B’ to protect themselves against any potential future bans on the trading or use of cryptocurrencies in their countries, and to allay the risks of aggressive fiscal policies that tax digital assets at source.”
The findings, collected in partnership with global wealth intelligence firm New World Health, also include a list of the world’s most progressive countries for crypto adoption. Headed by Singapore, it features no real surprises, with most jurisdictions, such as Switzerland, UAE, Malta, and Hong Kong, already being widely popular destinations among crypto investors.
While moving to Portugal or becoming a Malaysian citizen is not on the table for most users, investment expert Jeff D. Opdyke still advises aspiring crypto millionaires to continue investing.
Legal uncertainty and bearish prices considered, he draws a parallel of the present moment to the dot-com bubble of the early ‘00s, stating that “we’re not likely to ever see these prices again”.
If he is right, next year’s report might include a lot more millionaires on it.