Bitcoin Ownership Getting More Centralized

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Thu, 11/19/2020 - 06:10
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Alex Dovbnya
Bitcoin whales now control even a larger share of Bitcoin's total supply
Bitcoin Ownership Getting More Centralized
Cover image via stock.adobe.com
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According to a recent Bloomberg report that cites Flipside Crypto, Bitcoin whales have grown even bigger as a result of the most recent rally to $18,000.  

The top two percent of Bitcoin addresses now account for a staggering 95 percent of the asset’s total supply.

Bitcoin Wallets
Image by bloomberg.com

Big boys pull all the strings 

BitInfoCharts data shows that wallets with more than 100 BTC ($1.8 mln as of now) account for 61.5 percent of the total supply. Yet, they represent a minuscule 0.04 percent of the total addresses. There are only 14,005 whales in the world that own that many coins.         
   
Over 16 mln addresses hold less than 0.001 worth of BTC ($17), representing almost 49 percent of all wallets in existence.        

The growing concentration of coins in the hands of whales is a troubling trend given that they exert great influence on the market and can manipulate it at a whim. Flipside’s data scientist Eric Stone, however, believes that large liquidations are unlikely:   

“The most likely whale story today is that they’ll cautiously liquidate relatively small amounts of BTC over time, rather than risking a supply shock by liquidating larger chunks all at once.”

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Exchanges are getting less powerful 

Flipside data also shows that cryptocurrency exchanges represent seven percent of the total supply, down 0.7 percent from 2019.

As reported by U.Today, Bitcoin reserves held by exchanges continue to diminish, creating supply crunch.

Yet, the richest Bitcoin address with 141,452 BTC ($2.5 bln) is a cold wallet owned by the Huobi exchange.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.