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Crypto winter wipes out 71,000 ‘Bitcoin millionaires’

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The world of Bitcoin (BTC) has produced several millionaire success stories, as early adopters of the cryptocurrency have seen their investments pay off significantly. However, the recent volatility experienced by Bitcoin has resulted in millionaire holders suffering significant losses.

As of January 2, 2023, the number of all Bitcoin millionaire addresses stood at 28,007, a drop of about 71.73% or 71,085 addresses from January 2, 2022, according to data compiled by Finbold. At the start of last year, the number of millionaire addresses stood at 99,092.

In January 2022, the number of addresses holding $1 mln worth of Bitcoin stood at 90,902 to record, a year-over-year (YoY) drop of 73.33% to 24,208 in the first month of 2023, while addresses with at least $10 mln worth of Bitcoin stood at 8,190 in January 2022, before plunging by 62.5% to 3,799 in January 2023.

Most Bitcoin addresses hold between $100 and $999 worth of BTC, or a total of 13.47 mln as of January 2023, a drop of 13.33% YoY from 15.63 mln. The second largest group of Bitcoin holders was for at least $1,000 worth of BTC at 5.33 mln as of January 2023, while in 2022, this figure stood at 6.54 mln.

Bear market wipe-out

The Finbold research author Justinas Baltrusaitis, identified some of the contributing factors to the drop in the number of Bitcoin millionaire holders.

“As Bitcoin’s price continues to fall, many investors have seen their holdings significantly devalue. Therefore, the drop in millionaire addresses highlights how far the crypto market has fallen from the 2021 bull run,” he said.

“The slump correlates with the asset’s volatility which has been a highlight of 2022, plagued by a combination of several factors such as regulatory scrutiny, turbulent markets, macroeconomic factors, and fraud-related incidents like the FTX crypto exchange crash and the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem crash.”

Commentators believe Bitcoin can recover as the crypto market undergoes an extended phase of volatility. At the same time, there is skepticism that the market will reclaim the previous highs.