Bitwealthy, the new nouveau riche

Watch out, they’re coming! With every heady leap of the price, another bitcoin millionaire is born. And while the world is busy debating whether the web’s favorite cryptocurrency is in a bubble, a new breed of super geeks is taking its place among the financial elite.

So who are they? Thanks to some ongoing surveys by friendly redditors, we know that the average bitcoiner is male, about 30 years old, with a full time job, has libertarian leanings, and is in a long term relationship. Smokers and drinkers are slightly underrepresented.

But how many bitcoin holders are really rolling in it? According to some analyses of the block chain, you need about 400 bitcoins to be in the top 1,000 largest wallets. Of course we don’t know with any certainty how many of these wallets belong to the same people, so let’s go with 1000 coins as nice round number for “elite” status.

At today’s price of $235, it takes only 4,256 Bitcoins to equal over $1,000,000. Looking back, this amount was once upon a time a rounding error for the early miners. Two weeks ago somebody showed a screenshot from when they sold 30,000… for pennies. Any many early bitcoiners didn’t even sell their stash, or spend it. They either forgot about it, or lost it. A testament to the windless days in these crypto-doldrums remains: the sea of unclaimed 50 BTC wallets that were mined, and left to drift.

Among the new Bitrich are a few notorious thieves, fraudsters, and liars. We know their names, and with any luck, they won’t stay hidden forever. For those who were bilked, the mental image of Trendon Shavers sipping Mai Tai’s on the beach is enough to start their teeth grinding.

But others are more deserving: those who held tight through the last little bubble, those who created services and did business denominated in Bitcoin, and those who plunked down serious cash at a time when their friends and family called them insane. These are the unsung heroes, whose time has surely come.

But there are headwinds! They haven’t made it yet. The true test will come after the current run-up burns up all its fuel. When, how far, or how quickly it will come tumbling down is anybody’s guess. But without a doubt, many will panic.

In the coming blow off will the current Bitwealthy weather the storm, or bail? Perhaps many of them will just take a bit off the table to reduce their risk. Those who fancy themselves skillful enough might even sell hard with the plan to buy back when coins are cheap. It’s impossible to know for sure.

And for those who were late to the party, or feel left out, don’t despair! If only 1% of the population held Bitcoin, then the average holding would be 0.3 per person. If it were spread among every man, woman, and child in earth, this number would be whittled down to a paltry 0.003. So, who knows? Maybe those coins will make you Bitloaded too someday. With any luck, the notorious Bitcoin Billionaire will tip you 20 BTC on Reddit for no apparent reason (yes, it happens).

Only time will tell.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, there are about 270 wallets with more than $1,000,000 worth in them. That’s a lot of alpaca socks.

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