Skip to Content

How many people hold Ethereum?

Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin. It has gained immense popularity over the past few years as more people become interested in blockchain technology and crypto assets. But exactly how many people currently hold Ethereum? Getting an accurate count is difficult, but we can make some educated guesses based on available data. In this article, we’ll explore the current statistics and estimates around Ethereum ownership and adoption.

Estimating the Total Number of Ethereum Owners

There is no definitive way to know exactly how many people own Ethereum since blockchain transactions are pseudonymous. However, we can extrapolate based on certain metrics:

  • Active Ethereum addresses – There are currently around 73 million unique active Ethereum addresses according to Etherscan. This refers to addresses that have made at least one transaction at some point.
  • Exchange accounts – Popular exchanges like Coinbase have stated they have over 43 million verified users. Many of these users likely hold some amount of Ethereum, even if they also own other cryptocurrencies.
  • Ethereum wallet downloads – Leading Ethereum wallets like MetaMask have been downloaded over 30 million times according to public data. This indicates a minimum number of people interested in holding ETH.
  • Survey data – Surveys of cryptocurrency owners estimate that between 15 and 20 million people in the US currently own Ethereum. Extrapolating globally based on population size gives an estimate of around 200 million.

Based on these metrics, a reasonable estimate for the total number of unique Ethereum holders worldwide is likely somewhere between 50 and 150 million people. However, many factors make getting a precise number difficult:

  • Individuals can own multiple addresses
  • Exchanges hold ETH on behalf of millions of customers in pooled wallets
  • Some people may hold ETH yet not actively transact or check their balances
  • Survey data has high margins of error

So while the total number of unique individuals holding ETH is hard to pin down, a good ballpark estimate based on available data would be around 100 million people worldwide.

Number of Active Ethereum Users

While the total number of Ethereum holders is estimated to be around 100 million, the number of active users is likely much lower. We can define an active Ethereum user as someone who uses the Ethereum blockchain to interact with decentralized applications (dApps), make transactions, or develop smart contracts.

Some data points that can help estimate the active userbase:

  • Daily active addresses – There are approximately 350,000-500,000 unique addresses active on Ethereum each day.
  • dApp usage – Approximately 150,000 to 200,000 daily active users interact with decentralized apps across all platforms.
  • Developer community – There are around 200,000 Ethereum developers building on the network.

Based on this data, a reasonable estimate for Ethereum’s total active user base is likely between 500,000 and 1 million as of 2022. Key factors contributing to this much smaller number compared to total holders:

  • Many holders just buy ETH as an investment but don’t actively engage on the blockchain.
  • Lots of addresses are “dead” and reflect past activity from speculators or traders.
  • dApps and DeFi products have growing usage but still make up a tiny fraction of crypto activity.

So in summary, while Ethereum has made significant inroads with investors and traders with an estimated 100 million total holders, the platform still has work to do to onboard more regular active users. But growth trends are positive, with more developers building dApps and more users participating across DeFi protocols each quarter.

Geographic Distribution of Ethereum Holders

Ethereum adoption is worldwide but certain countries and regions have larger numbers of users than others. Here is a geographic breakdown of where Ethereum holders are concentrated:

United States

Surveys suggest around 10% of Americans own Ethereum, giving the US around 15-20 million holders. This makes it the leader in global ETH ownership. Key drivers include crypto awareness, disposable incomes for investing, and a tech-savvy population.


Europe has strong Ethereum adoption, led by the UK, France, Germany, and Ukraine. There are an estimated 5-10 million holders across the continent. Many European countries like Switzerland and Liechtenstein also have crypto-friendly regulations that encourage adoption.


China used to account for a significant share of global crypto activity. However, regulatory crackdowns have led to exchanges shutting down. Estimates suggest there are still between 3-5 million Chinese citizens holding crypto assets including ETH.

South East Asia

Rising incomes and mobile connectivity is driving crypto adoption in countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Total ETH holders could number 2-5 million across the region.


Despite ambiguity around regulations in India, strong tech talent and interest from younger investors is propelling Ethereum adoption. Estimates suggest there are between 1-2 million holders in the country.

Latin America

Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela have millions of citizens using crypto as a hedge against inflation or to send remittances. Total ETH holders could total 2-3 million.

Middle East and Africa

There is limited reliable data around Ethereum holdings from the Middle East and Africa. However, young demographics, increasing smartphone use, and unstable currencies could see these regions contribute up to 5 million holders.

Here is a table summarizing the geographic distribution:

Region Estimated Total Holders
United States 15-20 million
Europe 5-10 million
China 3-5 million
South East Asia 2-5 million
India 1-2 million
Latin America 2-3 million
Middle East & Africa 1-5 million

So in summary, while Ethereum adoption is global, North America, Europe, and some parts of Asia currently account for the lion’s share of users. However, emerging markets are catching up as crypto awareness and access continues improving.

Ownership Concentration and Whale Wallets

While Ethereum has a broad holder base, ownership concentration in the hands of a few large players is an issue. Analyzing the distribution of the supply reveals some insights:

  • Top 10K addresses control nearly 30% of total supply
  • Top 100 addresses control over 10% of supply
  • As much as 15-20% of supply is lost or stranded in dead addresses

This shows that Ethereum ownership is heavily skewed towards whales and early adopters who got in years ago. Some of the largest addresses are exchanges or custodians holding ETH for clients.

There are also a handful of “mega whales” holding extremely large balances:

  • 0x7dd9c5cba05e151c895fde1cf355c9a1d5f525b: Holds over 320,000 ETH
  • 0x3f5ce5fbfe3e9af3971dd833d26ba9b5c936f0be: Over 310,000 ETH
  • 0xab5801a7d398351b8be11c439e05c5b3259aec9b: Around 275,000 ETH

These mega accounts likely represent early stakeholders or founding team members. However, so much supply consolidation at the top presents risks for regular users and decentralization.

To summarize, the distribution of Ethereum is highly uneven with “whales” controlling a disproportionate amount of the total supply. But this is an issue facing many cryptocurrency networks in their early days. Over time, ownership will likely become less concentrated as adoption spreads.

Long-term Holders vs Short-term Speculators

Analyzing the Ethereum blockchain also gives clues around investor behavior in terms of holding time horizons. The data shows:

  • Over 65% of the circulating supply is held by accounts that have never sold or transacted ETH.
  • Less than 25% of supply moves between short-term speculators trading frequently.
  • Long-term holders are still accumulating, with at least 50% of ETH untouched for over 1 year.

This indicates that the majority of Ethereum holders are in it for the long haul and see it as an investment or hedge against fiat currency debasement.

However, there is also a highly active subset of traders speculating on short-term price movements contributing significantly to volatility.

We can categorize holders into three main groups:

Long-term investors

These are holders who have owned ETH for multiple years without selling and likely have a bullish long-term outlook on its potential. These accounts control the majority of the supply.

Short-term speculators

These accounts trade actively, trying to time market moves. They likely entered in the last 1-2 years during bull runs and contribute heavily to trading volumes.

Lost or forgotten wallets

A sizable chunk of the supply has been lost, forgotten about, or stranded in wallets users no longer control. They are permanently out of circulation.

Here is a pie chart illustrating the breakdown:

In summary, long-term holders control most ETH supply, reflecting belief in its long-term potential. But short-term speculators also play an outsized role in price volatility. Maintaining wider distribution and less concentration among these groups will help stability.

Wrap Up & Conclusions

To conclude, here are some key takeaways around Ethereum ownership and holder demographics:

  • There are an estimated 100 million people worldwide holding ETH as an investment
  • Daily active users interacting on-chain is much lower at 500,000 to 1 million
  • Adoption is global but concentrated in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia
  • Ownership distribution is highly uneven, with whales controlling a large portion of supply
  • Long-term holders make up the majority while short-term speculators contribute to volatility

While getting precise counts is difficult, Ethereum has made great strides in spreading ownership from a few early adopters to millions of individuals worldwide. And continued adoption of DeFi, NFTs, and dApps will likely bring millions more into the active user base in the years ahead. But maintaining decentralization and minimizing concentration among “mega whales” needs to be a priority as the network evolves.

Measuring key ownership and user metrics over time will give important insights into the health and maturity of the Ethereum ecosystem. And providing easy access and education around owning ETH responsibly will allow more people to use and benefit from decentralized technologies.