Since China closed crypto trading last week, a web portal has displayed a list of alleged owners of all bitcoins in the world. The web portal claims that the Chinese government owns 194,775 bitcoins that originated from the Plastoken crypto scandal. The problem with list sources is that ownership verification is highly indefinite and gives nothing but estimates.
Does China or Bulgaria really hold billions in bitcoin?
When China made some statements about citizens working with cryptocurrencies through offshore exchanges and explained that the process was illegal, a list of which had a web page “Who Holds the Bitcoin?” Shared on all social media and cryptocurrency forums.
The reason people share it is because they assume that China is banning bitcoin, at the same time saving 194,775 bitcoins from the Plastoken crypto scandal. The list of all bitcoin owners also provides a link to the source, and the Chinese source is derived from an article published by theblockcrypto.com on November 27, 2020.
The source that the website uses is an article written by Ulfi Zhao and the editorial is titled “Chinese Police Seize 4. 4.2 Billion Crypto from Plastoken Ponzi Crackdown.” The article also contains a court order that explains the details of the case and lists the conspirators involved.
Although the article and the judgment state that the Chinese government has seized various amounts of Bitcoin, Etherium, Lightcoin and other tokens, this does not mean that the Chinese government still holds these crypto assets. There is no hard evidence that the Chinese government today holds about 194,775 BTC.
The Chinese government has to prove ownership, and it won’t, and there’s no way to say whether the nation-state has sold assets. It’s like wondering if it’s possible for blockchain surveillance trackers (blockchain parsers) to get at least a glimpse. The Chinese government must either make a public display and remove the coins so that the world can see them or prove ownership of the fund through private key and signature verification.
If Chinese official sources are considered legitimate, people can also assume that Bulgaria owns 213,519 bitcoins. There are plenty of articles about the mystery behind the confiscation of these coins by the Bulgarian government, but even today, there is still debate over whether it is owned by Bulgaria.
Evidence shows that Bulgaria auctioned the 200K BTC stash, yet some believe it is owned by the Bulgarian government. It is also estimated that the Ukrainian government owns 46,351 bitcoins but these figures only come from public disclosure forms obtained from Ukrainian government employees.
Evidence of cryptographic verification and reserve
There is still no way to verify whether the Chinese government or the Bulgarian government owns these bitcoins that have been seized from criminal activities. Again, China or Bulgaria must publicly prove ownership or prove that they can transfer these funds. Countries can sign a message tied to a specific address that contains a specified amount of bitcoin, but no government will do that.
Who owns all the bitcoins? Retrieved from Tweet And other articles linked to the likes of Tim Dropper and Michael Silver. Unless these individuals prove ownership by removing the stated amounts of bitcoin or signing a message attached to the private key of the crypto asset, a list of these individuals with approximate bitcoin holdings is meaningless.
Proving true proof of ownership and reserve is quite easy in the world of Bitcoin with a personal key and signature. One day, proof of stockpiling in Bitcoin, by signature, will probably depend more and more over the years, because you can’t talk to the government for it or some people on social media can say they own thousands of bitcoins. Bitcoin proponent Nick Carter An editorial discusses the importance of proof of reserve which highlights:
Proof of reserve + proof of liability = proof of well-being
In introducing the reserve subject, Carter noted that “if I could work alone to improve this industry, every custodian of the cryptocurrency space would be persuaded to accept the routine proof of the reserve program.” Evidence of reserves can be made with Bitcoin (and other crypto assets) by any person or organization that exists nowadays. Everything else is mere speculation, hearsay and unverified evidence, except evidence of stockpiling.
This will include each crypto custodian who does not establish proof of the reserve method or a claimant who simply states that they have the amount of bitcoin. The same can be said of this list of so-called bitcoin owners, just as the person we claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto without true cryptographic evidence. True, without cryptographic evidence, every ‘bitcoin owner’ list can be questioned and dismissed as mere speculation.
What do you think about the list of Bitcoin owners claiming to show the specific ownership and approximate amount of Bitcoin owned by the individual or organization? Let us know what you think about this in the comments section below.
Image credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons, Who Holds All Bitcoins? Listings via Kevinrooke.com/bitcoin, Bitcoin Treasury Huddlings via Bitecoinometrics,
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