Who owns Bitcoin?

Frank van der Beek
Chief Editor

Nobody really owns Bitcoin. The only true owner of any Bitcoins is the person that holds the private key to those Bitcoin addresses. 

Although Bitcoin was originally created by one entity, the network is not controlled by one person or group. Because of Bitcoin's decentralized nature, individual ownership of coins is possible on its blockchain. Making it so that only the holder of a private key has access to the coins that match the Bitcoin address to that private key. 

Who created Bitcoin

Bitcoin was created by an anonymous person or group called Satoshi Nakamoto. The fact that nobody really knows who this is might be strange at first. But is actually a blessing as there is nobody that can be taken down for the creation of Bitcoin. 

Satoshi Nakamoto was at the beginning of Bitcoin activity and helped with lots of things. However, after December 2010 Satoshi completely disappeared from the Bitcoin scene, for some reason nobody knows. Not many people nowadays in the Bitcoin space have even had any interaction with Satoshi or have a real clue of whom he/she is. 

No matter who Satoshi really is, the Bitcoin community took this project called Bitcoin and over the years started buying it and mining it in large amounts. Which made it the enormous decentralized network that it is today. So even tho Satoshi was Bitcoins father that came up with the idea and the code. Bitcoiners around the world are the ones that really made it into what it is today. An unstoppable store of value and digital cash network, and maybe even much more in the future.

Over the years, many have speculated however about who Satoshi could be and if they are even still alive. 

Who is the real owner of Bitcoin

The real owner of Bitcoin is all the people that participate in the network. Because of how a decentralized system works, everyone that holds any of the coins on the blockchain owns a piece of what Bitcoin as a whole is.

Everyone on the Bitcoin network has their own private keys for their address. Nobody can access this private key beside the person that created that wallet. So even miners or node operators can not see your private key. Making the coins on your address truly yours. Because no one else can access them. The real owner of your Bitcoins is thus you. 

This of course can be a confusing concept for many, as most people are used to the standard databases where everything is controlled by one central party. Bitcoin simply does not work in that way. And there exists no central database. But instead, Bitcoin has tens of thousands of nodes, which all hold a copy of the whole Bitcoin blockchain. These nodes verify the transactions 24 hours a day. So that you nor any central entity has to. 

Can Bitcoins creator access my coins?

No Satoshi Nakamoto can not access your coins. Because Bitcoin is not controlled from one central point. This means that Bitcoin creator Satoshi has just as much power over the network as you, or I have. 

So neither you nor Satoshi can control any other part of the network that is not their own private wallet. Satoshi however does have a lot of BTC, which makes them rich people. But it does not give them control over your BTC. Even if Satoshi decided to do anything with their coins, it is impossible that this affects the broader Bitcoin network. But could have some influence on the price of BTC against the dollar in the short term as Satoshi did have a lot of coins. 

However, it looks like these coins will never move and that Satoshi will not come back to the scene, as we have not heard anything from them in many years.

How is the Bitcoin network controlled?

Currently, the control over the Bitcoin Blockchain is fully decentralized and controlled by Miners and Nodes. But even though they control the blockchain. They do not control the BTC in your wallet. Because that control lies solely with you.

The control structure with Miners and Nodes over the Bitcoin blockchain works as followed. Miners compete against one another to gain the right to mine the next block and validate incoming transactions. This process can be lucrative, and a whole industry has already been built around it. Miners do this one simple thing only and are not bothered by anything else. So, miners validate transactions and accept the transaction fees paid by all transactions.

In the second part, the nodes do not mine anything. But instead, keep a copy of the blockchain and all the transactions on it. Nodes are thus the source of truth of the blockchain, telling the world which transactions have taken place before, and constantly adding new transactions that have been validated by the miners. Nodes also have the option to reject certain incoming transactions from miners. This gives them their voting power on the blockchain, as when they would reject certain transactions in mass, they can stir the direction of the entire network. 

Can Bitcoin miners decide to mine as many Bitcoins as they want?

No, there is a hard limit put in the Bitcoin codes as the block reward, AKA new coins, gets halved every 210,000 blocks (or about 4 years). This means that the limit of how many Bitcoins will ever be in existence can easily be calculated, and that miners can't move away from this. Even if a miner would find a way to create a block that would print an extra 1 million BTC, none of the nodes would accept it as it goes against the code that they have saved. 

This way, Bitcoin protects itself against faulty actors, and only when the entire network truly agrees can changes be made. But of course, when changes are made, they are never changes that could hurt the network. Because Miners, Nodes, and coin holders all have an economic interest in the network, for it to work as best as it can. 

Who owns all the Bitcoins?

No one owns all the Bitcoin. Every individual or group only truly owns their own BTC. Because of the encryption that protects their addresses. 

You see, to access the BTC on one address, you would need the Private Key. Without this, there is no way you can gain access to it, no matter who you are. This makes it so that you can only own the BTC that is on your Bitcoin address. So if it is not on it, you don't own it. And there is no possible way for you to use it. This goes for everyone that uses the network. No matter if you are a BTC miner, a node, or a coin holder. You can not touch the coins of others. 

This simple principle is what makes Bitcoin so powerful, as it put the user in full control. Which might be its most powerful trick. 

Where does Bitcoin come from?

All Bitcoins to ever exist first had to be mined. This is the process of validating transactions and bringing all the BTC coins into circulation. At the start of Bitcoin, this was 50 coins every 10 minutes. But this amount halves every 4 years. Making it more scarce over time. 

It might look like if miners just create BTC. But in reality, they pay a heavy price for it. Because of the Bitcoins algorithm, Proof of Work. Proof of Work requires miners to spend a lot of electricity to produce and validate Bitcoin transactions. This makes it a work incentive and prevents people from turning into malicious miners as they pay for their earned BTC with electricity. Which in the end secures the network and hopefully some BTC for the miner.

Some people do worry about this, as they think Bitcoin might be bad for the environment. But the facts about this would surprise you. 

Is Bitcoin real or fake?

Bitcoin is most definitely real. Even though it exists online, it is a very real form of money with its own system and currency. 

It might be a bit of a difficult thing to understand at first. Especially if you are not yet that familiar with online currencies or digital payment systems. However, trying out how to send a Bitcoin transaction. And seeing how it works can help you understand what the future of digital payments will look like. And how a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin can make a difference in this world. 

Just keep in mind that Bitcoin is a digital currency. So if someone offers you a physical coin, do not be fooled. Because Bitcoin only runs on the internet and nowhere else.


Bitcoin is owned by the people that use the network. This thus can be anyone that would like to join. And anyone on the network has the same power and rights as everyone else. Making Bitcoin not only an open network for those who like freedom. But also one of the most democratic networks that one can have. 

Author picture
Frank van der Beek
Chief Editor

Frank van der Beek is the chief editor and founder of Frank is passionate about blockchain technology and its potential to empower individuals. Through Yada On The Block, he seeks to educate readers about the latest developments in the industry and help with the further adoption of Bitcoin.

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