Are Crypto Whales in Control? New Research Analyzes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash Wealth Distribution

20 December 2019, Friday, 13:20 -
Are Crypto Whales in Control? New Research Analyzes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash Wealth Distribution

A new report suggests that Bitcoin’s (BTC) wealth is now more evenly distributed, unlike other major cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin (LTC).

Bitcoin’s overall wealth distribution improved significantly when compared to last year, according to research published by Clovr, which examined transactions made with widely-used digital currencies in November of 2019.

However, the report reveals that the top altcoins in terms of market cap are increasingly controlled by whales.

Bitcoin’s Gini coefficient, a statistical measure of wealth distribution, dropped from 0.66 to 0.64 in 2019.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) Gini coefficient increased from 0.73 to 0.75, while Ether’s (ETH) went from 0.69 to 0.78. Litecoin’s remained at the top of the list, at 0.83.

Crypto whales would have to control at least 4,545 of the biggest Bitcoin wallets in existence in order to hold half of the leading cryptocurrency’s circulating supply, the report claims. To control most of Ether’s supply, a small group of users would only need to own ETH stored in 322 wallets.

To own most of Bitcoin Cash’s circulating supply, crypto whales would have to control just 1,109 wallets. Most of Litecoin’s (LTC) supply could be controlled by holding the keys to only 189 wallets.

Clovr says it analyzed the top 10,000 wallet addresses belonging to each digital currency, and left out major exchange wallets. Wealth inequality was even more severe for major ERC-20 tokens, according to the research.

For example, Huobi Pool Token (HPT), the native cryptocurrency of Huobi’s mining pool, has a Gini coefficient of 0.99, with 70% of the outstanding tokens belonging to a single wallet.

In general, tokens with relatively smaller market capitalization had more severe wealth inequality problems.

The researchers suggest,

“If centralized wealth worries you as a cryptocurrency investor, then it may help to avoid buying tokens with a market capitalization of less than $100 million.”

You can check out the full report here.

Featured image: Shutterstock/jamesteohart

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