Bitcoin recorded a new high today, hitting $5,991 on the benchmark CoinDesk price index. On major exchanges like Bitfinex and Bitstamp, the price briefly crossed $6,000 intraday.
While bitcoin bulls celebrate yet another milestone for the cryptocurrency, there is one major beneficiary to what has essentially been a nine year-long rally: bitcoin’s inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto. The pseudonymous creator is estimated to own 980,000 bitcoins, amassed from mining the cryptocurrency in its early days. The stash has remained untouched for years.
What is that worth today? At $6,000 a coin, Satoshi would be worth $5.9 billion. That would put him/her/they at number 247 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people. Satoshi is just below Wal-Mart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke and Samsung scion Jay Lee; and above Alibaba’s Joseph Tsai and María Asunción Aramburuzabala, who inherited the Corona brewery fortune.
That’s a good return for writing a piece of nine-year-old, open-source software. And arguably, even $5.9 billion is too small a reward for inventing “magic internet money.”