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Which exchanges hold the most Bitcoin?

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

Five exchanges (Coinbase, Huobi, Binance, OKEx, and Kraken) alone hold 10.6% of the outstanding bitcoins according to Chain.info. Coinbase’s cold wallets are estimated to hold more than $11 billion in Bitcoins.

The centralized crypto stock exchanges remain the undisputed masters of Bitcoin ownership. According to Chain.info data, five platforms are the law in this area. More than 1.96 million Bitcoins are spread across these five major exchanges.

These companies alone manage approximately 10.6% of all Bitcoins currently in circulation. And the first of them is none other than Coinbase which seems to dominate the market with an absolutely astonishing number of Bitcoins held on the exchange.

The exchange has 4.39 million separate wallet addresses containing 944,904 bitcoins. According to Chain.info, the total value of the crypto service’s cold wallets is more than $10 billion.

This concentration of Bitcoin in the hands of a single player naturally presents security risks. And Coinbase is clearly ahead of its competitors. The second, Huobi, ranks far behind.

With 323,665 Bitcoins in its electronic wallets, it manages the equivalent of 3.6 billion dollars in cryptocurrency at the current rate of 11,400 dollars per Bitcoin. Binance comes third with nearly 290,000 Bitcoins.

Centralized exchanges remain pillars of Bitcoin

There is a big gap between the top 5 exchanges and the other cryptocurrency exchanges. The fifth, Kraken, hosts 126,500 bitcoins. This is twice as much as the sixth, Bitflyer, at only about 68,000 bitcoins.

Despite the principle of decentralization of the blockchain and the crypto-actives, users continue to choose to centralize their assets on centralized exchanges. The mantra “not your keys, not your Bitcoin” thus remains ignored by a large part of cryptocurrency owners.

However, a slight decline may be underway, at least at Coinbase. A little less than a year ago, in December 2019, Coinbase wallets represented 966,230 Bitcoins. This means that more than 20,000 Bitcoins have vanished from the exchange in this last year. But when we see the numbers, it’s nothing more than a drop of water in the ocean.