What If Satoshi Nakamoto Sold All His Bitcoin Today?
If Nakamoto was to move his coins, what would happen with the market?
Essentially, the mysterious nature of Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin's creator, means that the entire ecosystem is sitting on a potential volcano. It lays dormant at the moment, but if the creator had the inkling, he could flood the market with one mln coins and destroy its value.
One of the biggest mysteries in the technology world is the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. No one knows who he is, where he is or what he is doing with his millions.
That is millions, as in millions of Bitcoins as it has been reasonably estimated that Nakamoto could own over one mln coins.
The power of one man
Matt Green, a cryptocurrency professor at Johns Hopkins University, says Nakamoto has the power to tank the currency if he wants to.
Bitcoin has a finite supply of 21 mln which is expected to be reached by the year 2140.
Nakamoto's one mln Bitcoins amount to five percent of the entire cryptocurrency.
"The thing about Bitcoin is if you control a million of them, you have the ability to flood the market at any point. Think of them as rare baseball cards. They're valuable because they're rare. If somebody could dump hundreds or thousands of Mickey Mantle trading cards, rare ones, onto the market, they wouldn't be worth so much anymore," said Green.
Nakamoto has really gone undercover since he decided to pull away from his creation, and for a man with such high value, his influence has not even been noted among the pseudo-anonymous Bitcoin network.
However, if Nakamoto were to put his coins up for sale, the entire market would be flooded, and the Bitcoin price would tank.
The value of one man
While Nakamoto remains a sleeping giant and a potential dormant volcano, he is no threat or promise to the Bitcoin Network. However, he is still an extremely significant figure in the digital currency's future.
Ben Yu, a Bitcoin investor living in San Francisco, says Nakamoto's stake in Bitcoin is extremely significant.
"If Bitcoin fulfills its role of becoming a global currency, then Satoshi Nakamoto would likely be the richest person in the world and also hold a proportionately higher share of the ultimate supply of Bitcoin than something like the US government holds in gold today," said Yu.
Yu's math works out. The US government holds the most gold reserves of any other entity in the world, at about 8,000 tonnes.
That's a little over four percent of the world's total supply, less than Nakamoto's five percent stake in Bitcoin.