Who Owns the World

Recommended Posts





Who owns the single largest Bitcoin wallet on the internet? The U.S. government.


In September, the FBI shut down the Silk Road online drug marketplace, and it started seizing bitcoins belonging to the Dread Pirate Roberts ? the operator of the illicit online marketplace, who they say is an American man named Ross Ulbricht.


The seizure sparked an ongoing public discussion about the future of Bitcoin, the world?s most popular digital currency, but it had an unforeseen side-effect: It made the FBI the holder of the world?s biggest Bitcoin wallet.


The FBI now controls more than 144,000 bitcoins that reside at a bitcoin address that consolidates much of the seized Silk Road bitcoins. Those 144,000 bitcoins are worth close to $100 million at Tuesday?s exchange rates. Another address, containing Silk Road funds seized earlier by the FBI, contains nearly 30,000 bitcoins ($20 million).


That doesn?t make the FBI the world?s largest bitcoin holder. This honor is thought to belong to bitcoin?s shadowy inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, who is estimated to have mined 1 million bitcoins in the currency?s early days. His stash is spread across many wallets. But it does put the federal agency ahead of the Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who in July said that they?d cornered about 1 percent of all bitcoins (there are 12 million bitcoins in circulation).


In the fun house world of bitcoin tracking, it?s hard to say anything for certain. But it is safe to say that there are new players in the Bitcoin world ? although not as many people are buying bitcoins as one might guess from all of the media attention.


Satoshi stores his wealth in a large number of bitcoin addresses, most of them holding just 50 bitcoins. It?s a bit of a logistical nightmare, but most savvy Bitcoin investors spread out their bitcoins across multiple wallets. That way if they lose the key to one of them or get hacked, all is not lost.


?It?s easier to keep track of one address, but it?s also most risky that way,? says Andrew Rennhack, the operator of the Bitcoin Rich List, a website that tracks the top addresses in the world of bitcoin.


According to Rennhack, the size of the bitcoin universe has expanded over the past year, but the total number of people on the planet who hold at least one bitcoin is actually pretty small ? less than a quarter-million people. Today, there are 246,377 bitcoin addresses with at least one bitcoin in them, he says. And many people keep their bitcoins in more than one address. A year ago, that number was 159,916, he says.


Although some assume that the largest Bitcoin addresses are held by bitcoin dinosaurs ? miners who got into the game early on, when it was easy to rack up thousands of bitcoins with a single general-purpose computer ? almost all of the top 10 bitcoin addresses do not fit that profile, says Sarah Meiklejohn, a University of California, San Diego, graduate student.


She took a look at how many transactions in these wallets seemed to match the profile of early-day miners and found that only one of them really fit the bill.


The rest seem to belong to what Meiklejohn calls Bitcoin?s ?nouveau riche?: People who are accumulating bitcoins from non-mining sources. ?What you?re seeing is this influx of a different kind of wealth,? she says.


Because most bitcoin addresses haven?t been publicly identified ? like the FBI?s ? it?s hard to say exactly makes up the new Bitcoin top 10. Meiklejohn says that they?re likely to include wallets created by up-and-coming Bitcoin exchanges or businesses. One of them is the wallet that?s thought to contain 96,000 bitcoins stolen from the Silk-Road successor, Sheep Marketplace.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So they have the biggest wallet in their possession...but can they actually use it?  I don't know enough about Bitcoin, on the technical side, to know whether that's the case or not.  If they don't--so what?  If they do--then what does the FBI normally do with seized currency?

Link to post
Share on other sites
NJ Louch

Whatever helps their national economy I guess... ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Anibal P

Whatever helps their national economy I guess... ;)


It'll "help" about as much as a stack of Monopoly money will, none, BTC like any other fake currency will eventually implode and die off, hell real currencies do it all the time and that's with Governments backing them, BTC is not something I'd put any effort into, it is not a sound investment no matter what the speculators say

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I read paypal now takes bit coin.  Perhaps the FBI should cash out and get real money.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It'll "help" about as much as a stack of Monopoly money will, none, BTC like any other fake currency will eventually implode and die off, hell real currencies do it all the time and that's with Governments backing them, BTC is not something I'd put any effort into, it is not a sound investment no matter what the speculators say


How's it a fake currency?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's far more legitimized as a currency then not. It may not be a full blown world wide accept one but it's the closest thing to a new age currency there is. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By indospot
      PayPal will soon give users the ability to manage cryptocurrencies
      by João Carrasqueira

      PayPal is expanding into the cryptocurrency management market, the company announced today. The move comes in response to increasing interest from consumers and central banks in digital currencies, and it will allow PayPal users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies within PayPal. What's more, the firm plans to go further by allowing cryptocurrencies to serve as funds for purchases on merchants that already support PayPal payments.

      PayPal cites a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, saying that one in ten central banks plan to launch their own digital currency in the next three years. Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, said:

      PayPal will start enabling cryptocurrency management for users in the United States in the next few weeks. To start, users will be able to manage some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. PayPal plans to expand the capability to its Venmo service in the first half of next year, and it will also enable cryptocurrencies to be used for payments in early 2021. Cryptocurrency management should also expand to other markets next year.

      Through the end of the year, buying and selling cryptocurrencies won't have any cost, and simply holding cryptocurrencies won't carry fees in general. PayPal is also going to provide users with educational content so they can understand how cryptocurrencies work, as well as the risks and opportunities attached to them.

      If you live in the United States and you're interested in the feature, you can join the waitlist using this link.

    • By Ather Fawaz
      Global power consumption by Bitcoin mining tops 7 GW, hashrates at 120 EH/s
      by Ather Fawaz

      Image via Zvelo The increasing ubiquity and adoption of cryptocurrency has led to more people indulging in the process of mining it. According to a recent study by Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Bitcoin-related power consumption has reached record highs this year. More than seven gigawatts (7 GW) of power (~63.32 terawatt-hours) are being pulled by the global mining industry. This power is roughly equivalent to that of seven nuclear power plants or 21.8 million solar panels.

      Details on global hashrate were published as well. This metric quantifies the total amount of processing power dedicated to the process of mining cryptocurrency. Already, the global industry stands at around 120 exa-hash per second (EH/s) but analysts predict that that number is only meant to increase in the future. In terms of individual countries, China is leading the pack, contributing 65.08% to the average monthly global hashrate, followed by the United States with 7.24% in second position and Russia at 6.90% in third.

      Average monthly share of total hashrate by country. Via CBECI Seeing these figures, one would think about the adverse environmental impacts of mining. But the study clarified in the FAQ section that:

      Moving forward, for the second phase of the project, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance plans on launching an interactive geographic map that tracks the location and the energy mix powering Bitcoin mining facilities as that would lead to a more accurate representation of the Bitcoin footprint.

      Source: CBECI via Engadget

    • By Ather Fawaz
      Empire Market, a drug dealing behemoth on the dark web has been offline for three days
      by Ather Fawaz

      It's been three days since one of the most popular darknet marketplaces, Empire Market, went offline. Customers have been unable to access their accounts and the administrators have seemingly gone off the radar without a trace. Sellers are distressed over the loss of funds, and some have even reported being the victims of Dusting Attacks whereby they've received small amounts of bitcoin in an attempt to deanonymize their cryptocurrency earnings.

      According to Bloomberg, the Empire Market dealt with drugs, fake documents, malware, etc., and ranked among the most trafficked illicit online marketplaces after the shutdown of sites like Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Hansa. But what exactly caused Empire Market to go offline is unclear.

      Bloomberg interviewed Mark Arena, CEO of Intel 471, a cybersecurity firm that tracks darknet marketplaces, who believes that there are two likely reasons for the sudden disappearance. Either the site administrators were arrested by law enforcement agencies or they have scammed customers and went off the radar with escrowed money.

      We've seen the former happen with the October 2013 shutdown of Silk Road by the FBI. The latter is also likely because Empire Market operated on the basis of escrowing money whereby anyone wishing to sell makes a deposit, which was held in escrow, giving the administrators control over it. Not only this, but a site moderator who goes by the name 'se7en' has also seemingly deleted his Dread account, and another moderator 'Melbourne' has confirmed that an exit scam is likely. While the exact figure of escrowed money is difficult to gauge, Mark Arena estimates at least 'single-digit millions' to be involved here.

    • By Ather Fawaz
      Twitter claims that a social engineering attack led to the spread of the cryptocurrency scam
      by Ather Fawaz

      A few hours back, many high-profile Twitter profiles were hacked to spread a cryptocurrency scam. Among the affected accounts were those of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Under the hack, a tweet was posted claiming that the profile was giving back or doubling the amount of cryptocurrency sent to the account.

      Shortly after, Twitter posted that it was investigating the problem. Now, Twitter Support (@twittersupport) has notified us on what it knows about the nature of the attack. The thread also tells us about the actions the site took to mitigate the effects of this hack.

      First, the social media giant deemed last night's attack was a 'social engineering attack' to take control of highly-visible accounts by targeting some Twitter employees with access to internal systems. Immediately after the site got to know of this, it removed the malicious tweet and disabled further tweeting from the affected accounts. Interestingly, all verified accounts, affected or not, were unable to tweet. An hour later, Twitter restored this functionality, but it is still limiting access to internal tools as it continues to investigate the hack.

      While Twitter's allusion to its employees being targeted does not directly state that one or more of its employees were behind the socially engineered attack, it still raises a few eyebrows at such a possibility. We already have reports hinting at an inside job citing sources from the SIM swapping community and the selling of vanity usernames. Rest assured, we shall continue to update you as the situation unfolds.

    • By Abhay V
      Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and other prominent Twitter accounts hacked for Bitcoin scam [Update]
      by Abhay Venkatesh

      Many high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked today to spread a Bitcoin scam. The accounts included those of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The tweets (spotted by TechCrunch) that have now been removed by the users claimed that the individuals were “giving back” or “doubling” the number of Bitcoins sent to the account.

      Other accounts such as that of Coinbase, CoinDesk, and Binance were also compromised. According to TechCrunch, the scammer’s website was flagged by Cloudflare as a phishing site but was still accessible when clicked on. At the time of writing, the scammers’ site had already collected up to 2.8 Bitcoins, averaging to about $25,700. A spokesperson for Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform provider, told the publication that its security team is investigating the breach. Several other companies that the source reached out to did not respond to a request for comment.

      Images: Saagar Enjeti (Twitter) It is currently not clear how the accounts were compromised. A statement by Coindesk added that several of the hacked accounts had multi-factor authentication enabled, suggesting that the breach could have been made possible by a Twitter vulnerability. Additionally, the hackers reportedly took over the accounts completely, even changing the email addresses linked to those accounts, making it difficult to reset the passwords and take back control.

      A Twitter spokesperson said that the microblogging website is “looking into” the matter. However, it is advised to be careful of any such messages from prominent Twitter users promising returns on Bitcoin donations.

      Update: Twitter Support has posted a statement that reads: