Almost half a billion people around the world have invested in some form of cryptocurrency—but only 22 of those investors have billions of dollars of those holdings.
In its 2023 Crypto Wealth Report, published Tuesday, Henley & Partners said 210 million people globally were invested in Bitcoin by the end of June, while a total of 425 million held cryptocurrencies of some kind.
According to the report, six—or almost one in three—of the world’s crypto billionaires reached that status by holding Bitcoin.
That means just 0.000003% of those who hold Bitcoin have Bitcoin assets worth more than $1 billion.
In the wider crypto space, 0.000005% of cryptocurrency investors’ assets are valued at more than $1 billion, according to the figures in the report.
Investors were much more likely to have gained millionaire status than a 10-figure net worth via their crypto holdings, Henley & Partners said, with 88,200—or 0.02%—of the world’s crypto investors owning cryptocurrencies worth at least $1 million.
Bitcoin has created a similar proportion of millionaires, according to the investment migration consultancy, with 40,500 of those invested in the most-widely traded cryptocurrency seeing their assets reach a value of at least $1 million.
The industry had also created a number of centi-millionaires—people with crypto holdings of $100 million or more—with 78 individuals deriving that wealth from Bitcoin and 182 gaining it from any form of cryptocurrency, the report said.
It’s unclear how much the individuals referenced in the report initially invested in the cryptocurrencies, or how much their crypto assets had gained or lost since they had held them. Henley & Partners did not immediately reply to Fortune‘s request for comment.
Which countries are most keen on crypto?
As part of its deep dive into the world of crypto investors, Henley & Partners also analyzed which countries had adopted cryptocurrencies most widely.
The consultancy found that the U.S. had the third biggest public adoption of cryptocurrencies, trailing behind the UAE and Singapore.
The U.K. and Canada rounded out the top five.
Henley & Partners created the Crypto Wealth Report in partnership with New World Wealth, using public information from major crypto platforms like Binance and Etherscan, as well as their own in-house databases.
The organizations measured public adoption of cryptocurrencies via the level of awareness, interest, and engagement in the general population. To score individual countries, researchers used indicators such as the percentage of crypto users relative to the total population, Google search interest, and the number of institutions in each location that offered courses on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are notoriously volatile, and being prone to wild swings in value has prompted warnings from the likes of Warren Buffett and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon about their worth as investments.
In the wake of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX last year, U.S. regulators have taken steps to crack down on malpractice allegedly being undertaken in the crypto sector, suing Binance and Coinbase in quick succession earlier this year.
The legal action weighed on an already suffering crypto industry, with crypto assets across the board still reeling from 2022’s widespread selloff that became known as the Crypto Winter.
Last year’s downturn saw more than $200 billion wiped off the market in a single day back in June, with some experts predicting the phenomenon—which saw many crypto investors’ life savings wiped out overnight—could last through 2023 and possibly into 2024.
The spectacular implosion of crypto exchange FTX in 2022 led to some speculation over whether the world was witnessing “the end of crypto,” with some heralding the company’s collapse as the cryptocurrency market’s “Lehman moment.”
Bitcoin has recovered somewhat from last year’s lowest point, but at today’s price of just below $26,000 the digital token is still far from its all-time high of nearly $69,000.
Investors ‘shouldn’t put blind faith in crypto’
Carl Hazeley, head analyst at retail investor platform Finimize, told Fortune on Wednesday it was “not surprising” only 22 of the 425,000 people who held crypto assets had become billionaires through those investments.
“In fact, most retail investors actually lost money from investing in the space,” he said. “And ever since [the crypto winter], headlines have predominantly been filled with negative crypto stories and the collapse of prominent companies. This means the mainstream audience isn’t putting, and shouldn’t put, any blind faith in crypto.”
Hazeley, a former Goldman Sachs analyst who led the IPO of food delivery giant Just Eat during his time with the banking giant, added that investors determined to put money in crypto should be watching out for signs of real-world use cases that could lead to mass adoption, like central bank digital currencies and popular payments platforms integrating digital tokens.
“For those who are interested in individual crypto projects, coins like bitcoin and Ethereum seem to be a safer, more promising bet than early-stage projects,” he said. “That’s not to say you should throw out your digital coins immediately. It could be worth holding onto the crypto you have, just in case it ramps up one day—but don’t bet on it.”
We are sorry that this article was not useful for you!
Let us improve this article!
Tell us how we can improve this article?