In a swift and intriguing turn of events, a previously enigmatic Bitcoin (BTC) address managed to catapult itself to the esteemed position of the third-largest holder of BTC. As reported by Cointelegraph on Aug. 22, the address in question accumulated a staggering 118,000 BTC.
While its identity has now been attributed to Robinhood, questions still linger, as the financial giant has neither confirmed nor denied these allegations. Some on-chain analysts posit that the stash actually belongs to MicroStrategy, the U.S. business intelligence and analytics software firm, which holds 152,800 BTC, as per their recent submission to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Is TradFi dethroning crypto-focused intermediaries?
Should Robinhood’s ownership of the 118,000 BTC be validated, the consequences could reverberate across the cryptocurrency landscape. Traditionally, the largest Bitcoin addresses have predominantly been linked to crypto-native exchanges. However, Robinhood’s role as a conventional broker focused on equities and options sets an intriguing precedent.
A glance at Robinhood’s latest 10-Q filing reveals that they held $4.24 billion in Bitcoin. Given Bitcoin’s price neared $30,500 on June 30, this equates to approximately 139,016 BTC – a fact that aligns seamlessly with the on-chain analysts’ contentions regarding Robinhood’s substantial crypto holdings.
If Robinhood is the owner of the “mystery” Bitcoin address, this makes one point pretty clear. Bitcoin doesn’t rely on big institutions to succeed. Analysts used to argue that for Bitcoin to really take off, more big investment firms or companies like Tesla and Block Inc. needed to get on board. But those hopes fizzled out as recent reports from Apple and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) revealed they hadn’t taken the Bitcoin plunge after all.
RegardingRobinhood, reports say that by June 2023, they had around 23.2 million active users. If just 10% of them owned some Bitcoin, they would need an average of about $1,828 each to reach the reported $4.24 billion in Bitcoin holdings. This goes to show that regular people, like those on Robinhood, can actually play a significant role in shaping the cryptocurrency landscape.
The downside of Bitcoin being held by Robinhood
While some investors want Bitcoin mass adoption by any means possible, getting there is not without risk. Robinhood’s user base is known for their penchant for speculative trading notably in meme stocks like AMC, GameStop and Bed…