Holding a net worth of about $140 billion, Jeff Bezos could theoretically afford to buy all the Bitcoin (BTC) in circulation. What would happen if he tried? Genesis Mining's head of mining operations, Philip Salter, weighed in on the matter.
"Of course he could only buy the liquid BTC on exchanges, massively driving up prices in the process," Salter told Cointelegraph in an email.
Bitcoin only has so many coins available for immediate purchase
Bitcoin has a current circulating supply of 18,339,687, but over the years, industry participants estimate at least some of this supply has been lost by early adopters and miners who no longer are able to access their original stashes.
Additionally, the BTC which is currently for sale on exchanges, also called liquid Bitcoin, is only a small fraction of the coins in circulation. "It's hard to say how many coins are up for sale right now and at what price level investors would stop hodling to sell their coins," Salter said.
"I don't think he could to buy a large percentage of all BTC this way, because when the price starts going up, people will stop selling their coins, assuming there is a new spike approaching and wanting to profit from that," he added.
Bezos would eat up all available liquidity
If Bezos flooded the BTC markets with buy orders, all the liquidity would rapidly disappear, with surging prices blocking out further buying, Salter explained.
"Salter mentioned other alternative purchase methods, such as over-the-counter, or OTC buying, as well as picking up stacks of the coin from miners. "Maybe he could pull off a large purchase without increasing the price immediately by making several deals like this at the same time," he said.
Salter did make sure to note that his comments are speculative, however, as he is not currently on top of exchange liquidity levels, or those holding stockpiles of BTC.
At a press time price near $7,115, Bitcoin's entire market cap sits at $130,483,137,741. At his current net worth, Bezos could theoretically afford all BTC, and still have about $10 billion to spare.