Arkham Intelligence’s Discovery: MicroStrategy Bitcoin Pooled with Fidelity

In a recent post, blockchain analytics platform Arkham Intelligence claimed that it had discovered almost all of MicroStrategy’s on-chain Bitcoin holdings, amounting to approximately 186,000 BTC out of the firm’s total 190,000 BTC in wallets. Arkham stated that it had added MicroStrategy to its publicly available cryptocurrency wallet database. The company found that around 107,000 BTC was held with Fidelity, pooled with other clients’ BTC, while 79,000 BTC was held in segregated custody, including Coinbase Prime.

Arkham’s research constituted the majority of MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin holdings, which were valued at approximately $9.7 billion at the time, based on a BTC price of $52,000. The data from Fidelity Custody indicated that there were wallets with over 174,000 BTC, with transactions from Coinbase, Foundry USA, and Gemini. The location of the remaining 4,000 BTC held by MicroStrategy remains unknown.

MicroStrategy Executive Chair Michael Saylor announced earlier this month that the company had acquired an additional 850 BTC in January, resulting in a total of 190,000 BTC holdings. The company had started purchasing Bitcoin in August 2020, with a $250 million crypto purchase as part of its strategy to adopt BTC as a reserve asset.

Arkham Intelligence, known for its aim to “deanonymize the blockchain,” had previously offered rewards to crypto detectives who could provide information leading to the identification of wallets owned by high-profile individuals. They had successfully identified the on-chain locations of ETFs from companies like BlackRock, Bitwise, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton after the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved spot BTC exchange-traded products in January.

Critics of Arkham’s approach argue that making wallet addresses and their owners public exposes individuals to potential attacks, citing instances where online sleuths were able to determine physical addresses and other identifying information, leading to targeted attacks on wallet holders.

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