Many people believe that Whales control the Bitcoin market - and they might just be correct! With just over 1,805 wallets controlling over 50% over the BTC in circulation, it is pretty damn concentrated amongst the Whales.
Data from PARSIQ, a blockchain monitoring platform, suggests that Bitcoin is almost 50x more concentrated amongst the few than global wealth. We all know that 1% of the world's population owns upward of 95% of the global wealth, however, as the data suggests, Bitcoin is 50x more concentrated!
The concentration of Bitcoin is mainly distributed amongst Whales - investors with EXTREMELY large wallets. These Whales have the ability to move markets as they please (so long as another Whale isn’t trying to do the exact opposite) which creates a great deal of volatility within the market. Of course, it must also be mentioned that 4 of the top 5 wallets on the rich list are cold storage wallets for the top exchanges such as Binance and BitFinex but the Whales do control the rest!
XRP The Most Concentrated Altcoin
Digging a little deeper into the data from PARSIQ, we can see that amongst the top 5 cryptocurrencies, XRP is the most concentrated. According to the data, XRP is 1,137 times more concentrated compared to global wealth - something that is absolutely disgusting!
Looking at the data above, we can see that ONLY 14 wallets control over 50% of the entire XRP supply...dang! Of course, amongst these 14 wallets will include Ripple’s company wallets, but they will also include the wallets held by Whales and the founders of XRP (who have also become very wealthy themselves).
Looking at the rich list for XRP above, we can see that almost 18 BILLION XRP are distributed amongst ONLY 9 accounts...YIKES! This does not give an air of confidence regarding centralization if you were to take a look at this table above.
If you were to take a look at the top 9 accounts that have 1 billion or more XRP inside them you will notice that 5 are owned by Ripple, 3 owned by Exchanges and 1 is unknown - perhaps a founder?
Looking at the stats by % of accounts, we can see that 0.01% of accounts control a balance of over 14,467,967 XRP - a statistic that is falling. The data also shows that 5% of accounts hold a balance of 9,576 XRP or more which is a statistic that is rising. This data suggests that the concentration is starting to fall but with only 14 wallets controlling 50% of the XRP supply it is going to take a VERY LONG TIME to gain a wealth distribution that is considered not to be “centralized”.
With XRP moving around $1 billion per month for sales, we can expect this wealth distribution to improve over the following months -depending on whom they sell it to.
NOTE: It is important to know that the data provided above DOES include XRP held by Ripple accounts.