If you're on a hunt for Ethereum whales to find out who holds the most of the cryptocurrency, you're not alone.
Ethereum remains one of the most popular and well-known cryptocurrencies. As of June 2021, it has a Market Cap of over $292 billion, trading at $2567 (via CoinMarketCap). Given Ethereum was trading at under $1 at the start of 2016, anyone holding a large amount of ETH may have now made huge profits.
So, what do we know about these Ethereum whales?
Who owns the most Ethereum?
When looking at the accounts holding the most Ethereum, you may notice that many of them are tagged with names of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Kraken. This is because these are cold storage wallets for these platforms.
In terms of individuals, Vitalik Buterin is the most prominent Ethereum whale, and for good reason, too. Buterin co-founded Ethereum in 2014.
In October 2018, Buterin disclosed his personal ETH wallet address, allowing enthusiasts to follow his ETH transactions. This address, however, currently only holds 1,366 ETH. Buterin moved 325,000 ETH into a new contract, which has a total value of over $812,000,000 at the time of writing. The Ethereum co-founder previously owned more ETH, but donated over 16,000 ETH to charity, along with his collection of various memecoins- a donation worth over $1 billion.
What is an Ethereum whale?
While Buterin certainly owns a significant number of ETH, there are likely other individuals holding more ETH than him. In fact, there are several anonymous addresses on the Ethereum blockchain that hold billions of dollars worth of Ethereum.
Crypto enthusiasts and analysts describe these large holders as whales. This term comes about because of their ability to impact Ethereum as a whole with certain moves, such as transferring or selling large sums of ETH. This is a term borrowed from bitcoin, with fears that if the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto - the co-founder of bitcoin and its largest whale - sold or moved his BTC, the entire currency could face severe disruption.
How many people own Ethereum?
As of 9 June 2021, there are over 157,000,000 distinct Ethereum addresses (via Etherscan). However, as an individual can have multiple addresses, this isn't a good indicator for the number of ETH holders.
Regardless, just a small number of accounts hold a hefty amount of Ethereum, with Bloomberg reporting in 2019 that just 376 individuals owned one-third of all Ethereum.
READ MORE: Who owns the most Dogecoin?