More than 40% of bitcoin’s supply is concentrated in just over 2,000 addresses that hold some $73 billion bitcoin according to blockchain data.
2040 addresses hold between 1,000 and 10,000 bitcoin, worth in total $47 billion, with this segment having the highest value distribution.
What are more likely to be exchanges, 104 addresses that have between 10,000 and 100,000 bitcoins, hold a combined total of close to $23 billion.
The two addresses that hold more than that, one being Huobi’s 250k cold wallet and the other Xapo’s 101k, have some $3.4 billion.
At the other end addresses that have $90 to $900, 0.01 – 0.1, own a combined $1.6 billion, just one percent of bitcoin’s current market cap.
Even up to $10,000, less than $7 billion is held, with one of the highest concentration being in addresses that hold between $100,000 and $1 million, 10 – 100 btc, at $42 billion.
Another $33 billion is held in further addresses that go up to $10 million, 1,000 bitcoins, with these addresses from 10 – 1,000 bitcoins holding a combined $75 billion.
That being another 40% of the supply, and as they’re not huge sums, it is quite unlikely they are exchanges or custodians.
Instead these may be ‘ordinary’ sums invested some time ago and held through these many years while bitcoin’s value increased considerably.
Or they may be more recent investments by well earning professionals as well as potentially entities that hold them as a hedge or as a store of value.
The 2,000 addresses on the other hand have many exchanges and custodians, with another 43 new bitcoin millionaires joining the 100+ bitcoin club recently.
All suggesting bitcoin’s distribution seems to be quite dispersed, in stark contrast to the fiat system where a handful of people hold some 80% of global wealth.
In the fiat system in addition this concentration is increasing due to money formation giving advantages to already wealthy people as they are considered more credit worthy, and thus get near 0% interest rate loans.
The poorer ones are lucky if they get an even 27% a year credit card limit, with this lending frugality becoming even more pronounced in recent years.
In bitcoin instead there is no lending as meant above, but a direct transfer of unit of accounts. So you can’t literally create bitcoin out of bitcoin in the way you can be given a $100,000 loan created from nothing just because you have $100,000 already.
You can of course make bitcoins from bitcoins in the usual way by investing and creating value, so increasing the demand for your assets. But in the fiat system you need to create no value for the bank to give you say a $100,000 mortgage on your current house, with you free to buy another $100,000 worth house or stocks or even bitcoin if you’re very risky in the hope a rise in their price is enough to pay the interest.
And it usually is because you’re one of many who gets $100,000s created from nothing – or more correctly created by taking value from others who have their wealth devalued due to the increase in units of account.
The concentration in fiat systems therefore is only one way unless there is some central planing forcing it to go the other way as well.
While in bitcoin as you can’t create bitcoin from bitcoin itself, only by giving it to someone in investment to create a productive enterprise, so far the direction has been towards more distribution of ownership, not less.
That makes this a unique asset, and because its tendency at least so far has been only towards more distribution, it may be the case that translates to a wider acceptance as a means of exchange.
That itself may lead to wider distribution, and thus wider acceptance, to the point bitcoin is used as actual money, valuing wealth in a non manipulatable way where the unit of account itself is concerned.