No turning back! 15. The Tragic Story of the Largest Ethereum Wallet


Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has a wide variety of wallet addresses among its largest holders. This article about the largest owners of Ethereum reveals an interesting fact. We look at the different models and intriguing stories behind some of the platform’s most notable ETH holders.

Binance and Grayscale: Contrasting strategies for Ethereum

There are two institutions at the top of Ethereum’s largest owners. Binance and Grayscale are two notable organizations with distinctly different approaches to holding ETH. Binance stores its ETH mainly in only two cold wallets. It also adds up to a staggering total value of over $5.7 billion. This concentrated approach underlines Binance’s strategy of consolidating assets for efficient management.

In contrast, Grayscale prefers decentralized distribution of Ethereum assets. With assets exceeding $30 million, Grayscale avoids having a single address. Instead, Grayscale owns approximately $5 billion worth of ETH. Accordingly, it distributes to more than 650 addresses, all attributed to its ETHTrusts. On the other hand, this decentralized strategy seems to reflect a commitment to transparency and security.

The unfortunate death of Polkadot Multisig

The list of Ethereum’s largest holders also includes a rather unusual entry. The 15th largest Ethereum holder is a Polkadot Multisig wallet that suffered an irreversible fate. There’s also a move by a Github user known as ‘devops199’. Accordingly, he unintentionally triggered the death of this wallet on November 6, 2017. A fatal command sent to the Parity library on which Polkadot’s multisig is based caused the wallet to be permanently locked.

Tragically, this incident left approximately $500 million worth of ETH permanently unrecoverable. Accordingly, it serves as a cautionary tale about the complexity and unforgiving nature of bloxkchain technology.

Persistent Ethereum pre-sale holders

Among the largest holders of Ethereum, there are two wallets in the top 30 addresses that continue to hold ETH acquired during the Ethereum pre-sale. Notably, the 22nd largest Ethereum wallet known as 0x2B6 received a significant amount of 250,000 ETH in the Genesis Block, Ethereum’s first block.

Remarkably, this wallet has remained untouched since its creation, which raises the question of whether this wallet belongs to a staunch ETH hodler or represents a lost wallet in the vast blockchain landscape.

Diverse ETH wallet landscape

Ethereum’s largest wallets paint a vivid picture of the platform’s ecosystem. These wallets belong to exchanges, pre-sale participants. On the other hand, it belongs to DeFi whales and even examples where no assets are associated. Ethereum’s wallet diversity is indicative of both strategic concentration and decentralized distribution. Additionally, when we look at it as, it reflects the versatile nature of the blockchain world, where these examples are among the best ETH holders.


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