Bitcoin was a whisker away from hitting $20,000 over the weekend, hitting a high of $19,771 yesterday, according to the CoinDesk price index. At that price, bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, would have been worth $19.4 billion, or the 44th richest person in the world, according to the Forbes rich list.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth would be derived from the 980,000 bitcoins he, she, or they are estimated to own. These coins are likely to have been obtained from mining the nine-year-old cryptocurrency early on. The funds have stayed untouched for years.
Bitcoin’s inventor would be behind Swedish clothing brand scion Stefan Persson (son of H&M founder Erling Persson), Apple founder Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs, and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Trailing Nakamoto are billionaire Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (who called bitcoin “Enron in the making“) and Theo Albrecht, Jr., an heir to the German discount retailing empire Aldi.
Bitcoin’s price at the time of writing was at $18,200. It has gained seven-fold since June, and started the year at around $1,000 a coin.
Even at bitcoin’s current lower price, Satoshi Nakamoto would be worth $17.9 billion, on par with Italian sunglasses magnate Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder of Luxottica, which owns Ray-Ban.
In October, Satoshi Nakamoto was ranked 247th on the Forbes rich list with an estimated fortune of $5.9 billion. That was when bitcoin set a then-new record of $6,000 a coin—about a third of where it’s trading today.