Bitcoin makes new millionaires of old miners

The number of Bitcoin addresses with at least $1 million went ‘parabolic’ this week as BTC rallied to new highs.

Minting millionaires. Around 40,000 addresses eclipsed the million mark when BTC broke $20,000 on Wednesday — taking the total to 66,540, a 150% jump in one day.

Blockchain data crew Glassnode speculated that many of the addresses in question could belong to early Bitcoin miners.

The magic number. Between 2009 and 2012, the Bitcoin network paid 50 BTC to its miners for helping to secure the network, and 7,200 BTC was given out each day.

Back then, selling that block reward would’ve generated $500 at best. Today, with BTC trading above $20,000, you’d net more than $1 million.

It could be that loads of early adopters lost their private keys — inadvertently driving the number of Bitcoin millionaires sky high.

So kind. Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto famously posited that misplaced BTC should be considered a gift to existing holders.

‘It’s the opposite of when a government prints money and the value of existing money goes down,” they commented in 2010. “Lost coins only make everyone else’s coins worth slightly more. Think of it as a donation to everyone.”

Current estimates suggest 3.7 million BTC ($83 billion) is lost forever, equal to around 20% of its circulating supply.

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