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The Top 10 Biggest Holders of Ethereum, and it May Surprise You

Published June 27, 2023 11:39 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Published June 27, 2023 11:39 AM
Key Takeaways
  • Unlike Bitcoin, not as much publicity is given to the largest holders of ETH
  • Biggest ETH holders are not individuals but mostly protocols, companies or purely unidentified accounts
  • At a time when more individuals are learning about cryptos, investments in Ethereum continue to draw attention

Ethereum has grown to be one of the most widely used cryptocurrencies since its release in 2015 but its biggest holders are not always publicly announced. One of the most valuable digital assets on the planet, it is a decentralized platform that enables developers to create and deploy distributed apps. Who, holds the most Ethereum, or better said – WHAT holds the most Ethereum?

The Biggest ETH Holders Are Not Individuals

There were 236.48 million Ethereum holders as of June 27, with the top 10 holders holding 31.49%, according to CoinCarp . A year ago, this number stood at 199.31 million, representing an 18.38% increase.

However, owners of Ethereum are not only hard to find but also hard to track down. Since many holders will have many addresses, the Ethereum wallet address cannot be used to represent a single individual.

But when it comes to Ethereum, the biggest ETH holders don’t get as much attention. Who possesses the most may be easily seen by using an Ethereum block explorer like EtherScan .

As it can be seen, the largest holdings are frequently companies rather than individuals, but there are undoubtedly some ETH whales, just like there are Bitcoin whales.

Since there is no universal method to identify the owners of Ethereum addresses, there are no public records of “Ethereum millionaires.” However, there are businesses that specialize in locating persons using addresses. It has been claimed that some well-known members of the Ethereum community, including Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin, have amassed riches as a result of their work on the project. They are frequently called “Ethereum whales.” They can influence market mood thanks to their huge wallets.

They are hopeful about the future of peer-to-peer payments as well as the longer-term application of Ethereum for computing power. Ethereum appeals to many because of its unparalleled versatility.

The majority of the biggest Ethereum holders are obviously the exchanges, but there are some individuals and protocols holding a lot as well.

Top Ethereum Holders

1) Beacon Chain Contract: ~18 million ETH

The Beacon Chain contract was the one employed by Ethereum during the transition from proof of work to proof of stake, which was successfully completed in the fall of 2022 with the Merge phase.

Once the transition to proof of stake was complete, Ethereum owners had the option of staking their cryptocurrency to this address in order to get rewards. The ETH of many large exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, was pooled to be staked to this contract, which is still being carried out. With more than 18 million ETH in the contract, it is the biggest ETH holder.

2) Binance: ~4.4 million ETH

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the largest holders of ETH is also the largest exchange in the world based on trading volume.

However, it might come as a surprise to learn that, if you sum up only three of the primary Binance Ethereum addresses, they really control more over 4 million ETH, making them the second-largest ETH holder. The largest amount of Ethereum is unquestionably held by that exchange. Along with their Binance-Peg Tokens address, there are Binance 7, 8, and 14 addresses, which are exchange wallets utilized for various exchange services.

When users of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) bridge their ETH to the BSC, the ETH is held here. It is kept at this Peg address until the ETH is transferred back to Ethereum from the BSC. Address 7, 8, and the peg address are all top 10 holders individually, while Binance 14 is 19th.

3) Wrapped ETH Contract: ~3.7 million ETH

WETH wrapped ETH is another well-liked contract. Since ETH by itself is not an ERC-20 token, using it with DeFi programs like Uniswap is challenging, so the developers developed a method to “wrap” ETH in an ERC-20 token. This makes it compatible with a wide range of apps. It is only more useful; its cost is the same as that of normal ETH. With more than 3.7 million ETH, the WETH contract is the second-largest single address for ETH.

4) Kraken: ~1.7 million ETH

Another significant ETH holder is Kraken, which ranks fourth with more than 1.7 million and was recently charged by the SEC for its ETH and several other staking possibilities. Even though Kraken is one of the most popular exchanges in terms of trading volume, it appears more plausible that it serves as some form of storage as most exchanges would split up holdings between wallets if they were “hot.”

5) Unknown Fund: ~1.6 million ETH

The sole description of the fifth-largest Ethereum holder is “Fund”, with no other details. This fund’s nature, purpose, and controller are all unknown. It it be the largest Ethereum whale ever or just a temporary account for an exchange.

6) Arbitrum Bridge: ~1 million ETH

One of the L2s previously mentioned is Arbitrum, and its bridge contract holds more than 1 million ETH. The bridge is now the seventh-largest holder of ETH as a result. This number may increase over time as Arbitrum gains popularity as a less expensive alternative to using Ethereum’s primary layer.

7) Bitfinex: ~1 million ETH

Three of the top 20 addresses on Bitfinex, another major exchange by trading volume, have more than one million ETH. Along with one multi-sig wallet, which is probably their cold storage wallet, there are two exchange wallets that are probably used for trading and exchange functions.

8) Lido DAO: ~423,000 ETH

One of the most well-liked sites for smaller holders of ETH to stake it is the Lido Finance platform. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that this contract holds over 432k ETH, making it the tenth largest holder of the cryptocurrency. As individuals increase or decrease their stake, this number will change.

9) Gemini: ~409,000 ETH

Same as being amongst the biggest Bitcoin holders, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their exchange Gemini are presumed to hold a lot of Ethereum as well. According to Etherscan, Gemini currently holds around 409,000 Ethereum. Recently, the exchange formally announced  the launch of Gemini Staking Pro in the UK. The service enables organizations and wealthy people to join the Ethereum network as validators by locking up a minimum of 32 ETH, which is equal to almost $60,000 at the time of writing.

10) Vitalik Buterin: ~240,000 ETH

In October 2018, Buterin disclosed his wallet address on Twitter . He added that he “never personally held more than ~0.9% of all ETH, and that his net worth never came close to $1 billion.

Along with Gavin Wood (Polkadot) and Charles Hoskinson (Cardano),  Buterin is one of the biggest Ethereum holders. He has multiple ETH addresses, with his VB 3 address being the biggest.

According to EtherScan , Buterin sent 320,000 ETH from his primary VB wallet just under two years ago, and he currently possesses over 240,000 ETH at this address. This amounts to well over $400 million USD in ETH, making Buterin one of the biggest Ethereum owners. There are many millionaires in the Ethereum community, but it’s challenging to outbid the network’s founder.

BONUS: FTX Hacker Among 50 Largest ETH Holders

In November last year, the hacker who took advantage of the now-defunct FTX exchange last week amassed a sizeable fortune, elevating them to the title of “Ethereum whale.”

Just one day after the troubled FTX exchange filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, more than $663 million in various crypto assets were stolen from its wallets, of which $477 million was converted into ETH. FTX is also thought to have moved $186 million worth of more than a hundred different tokens into secure storage.

The FTX wallet drainer was the 27th largest ETH holder after the hack but dropped by 10 positions after dumping 50,000 ETH onto new address.