Report: Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Whales Control Almost 90% of Bitcoins in Circulation



Last Updated: January 9, 2019 at 4:25 AM EST
BTC Dominance

Less than 1% of Bitcoin addresses hold almost 90% of the Bitcoins in circulation, a media outlet reports after its study on January 7. The report adds that cryptocurrency exchanges or whales either own these addresses. Based on the data, a conclusion was drawn that the minority is controlling this digital asset which could pose a great deal of concern.

22.65 Million Bitcoin Largely Controlled by Exchanges and Whales

According to reports, there are about 22.65 million Bitcoins in circulation. Due to the transparent nature of Bitcoin addresses and transactions, it is possible to know the percentage of those controlling these funds. However, it is difficult to ascertain the actual individuals who own them.

A closer look at the data reveals that 0.7% of addresses hold over 10 Bitcoins. On the other hand, 2.8% and 97.2% addresses contain over 1 and less than 1 Bitcoin respectively. As a result, those with over 1 Bitcoin control only a market share of 4.6% Bitcoin that is in circulation.

Less Than 1% of Bitcoin Address Hold $6 billion

Alternatively, those holding over 10 Bitcoins represent a class of people with 86.9% of all the Bitcoin in circulation. The price of the circulating Bitcoins as at press time is about $71 billion. Judging from this data, it means that less than 1% of addresses are holding $6 billion worth of Bitcoins and 97.2% hold $3.266 billion.

This shows that the market is greatly controlled by the minority which is usually the problem of the traditional financial system. The minorities are cryptocurrency exchanges and whales who make up a large part of the 86.9% market share. It has been said that the funds held in exchanges represent that of several individuals.

Whales Pose a Problem to the Market

Whales, in contrast, are people who own a large portion of Bitcoin that they had acquired at the initial stage of the cryptocurrency’s lifecycle. These are people who may also be wealthy enough to buy a large quantity of this digital currency.

The only problem is, they can easily influence the price of the cryptocurrency. This can be effected by selling off their holdings which will cause a dip in the market. These whales can also buy back Bitcoins after its price has fallen due to the sudden spike in circulation.

Another study has revealed that only 37% of Bitcoin addresses are economically useful. These are addresses that have been transacting frequently whereas others are just lying in wait. The latter either serve as cold storage for those who plan to hold the digital asset for a long term. The same can be said about those who may have lost access to the funds stored within it.