Binance Now Holds Nearly 600,000 Bitcoin Worth $9.6 Billion – Largest BTC Holder in the World?
The Bitcoin balance of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has risen significantly over the past month following the collapse of FTX, with total holdings now nearing 600,000 BTC.
According to data by crypto analytics platform Coinglass, Binance currently holds over 575,000 BTC coins, having added more than 137,011 coins just over the past week and a total of 67,347 BTC coins over the past month.
With Bitcoin currently hovering around the $16,000 mark, Binance's stack of BTC is worth over $9 billion. The recent spike in Binance's stash of BTC comes as consumer confidence in other smaller exchanges continues to exacerbate following the unprecedented crash of FTX.
Coinbase Pro, Bitfinex, Gemini, and Kraken are the next fourth largest exchange holders of Bitcoin after Binance, as per Coinglass, respectively holding 528,900, 345,597, 153,212, and 70,622 coins. Among the top five exchanges, Binance is the only one with a positive net Bitcoin flow over the past week.
Binance is the world's largest crypto exchange in terms of trading volume. The exchange has been boldly in the news as of late, particularly due to its partial involvement in the FTX saga. Initially, the exchange signed a non-binding agreement to acquire troubled FTX but walked away from the deal one day later.
What is Proof of Reserves and Why do Exchanges Need to Share it?
The remarkable collapse of FTX, once the third largest cryptocurrency exchange that earned itself a reputation as crypto’s bail-out king during the recent crypto meltdown, led to many in the crypto industry voicing concern over the reliability of centralized players.
In a bid to address this skepticism, crypto executives started to share proof of reserves. Proof of reserves uses Merkle Trees to capture data and get a set of fingerprints that let users verify that their funds were properly audited by a third party.
Over the past few days, some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges have shared their proof of reserves, revealing how much and what cryptocurrencies they store on behalf of their customers. Binance was among the very first ones to do so, followed by Crypto.com, Bybit, and Huobi.
However, as reported, crypto investment firm Grayscale has refused to share its proof-of-reserves, citing "security concerns." In a recent Twitter thread, the company said major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which is used by Grayscale as custodian, frequently performs "on-chain validation."
However, the move has stirred up speculation about the financial health of Grayscale. "I wasn’t concerned about GBTC solvency until reading this statement. Please explain how proof of reserve is a security risk?" one Twitter user said.