A recent the study by the National Bureau of Economic Research has revealed that more than a quarter of all Bitcoin (BTC) presently in circulation, is being controlled by a very small percentage (not even up to 1%) of the biggest BTC hodlers.
The report by the American-based private nonprofit research organization claims that of all 18.9 million BTC in circulation, 27% (5 million) is owned by just 10,000 Bitcoin investors, (0.01% of all BTC holders).
The study was originally intended to prove that Bitcoin might not exactly be as decentralized as widely believed, and was carried out by two finance professors.
Igor Makarov of the London School of Economics and Antoinette Schoar of the MIT Sloan School of Management teamed up to conduct the study.
Schoar shares the opinion that despite Bitcoin having been around for so many years, the case is still such that “it is a very concentrated ecosystem”.
Bitcoin Top Hodlers Control Bigger Amount of BTC Than The Richest American Households Do In Dollars
Meanwhile, according to Monday report by Wall Street Journal, the amount of BTC being held by the “one percent” is worth roughly $232 billion.
This means that the top holders control a bigger share of BTC than what the top richest households in America control in dollars.
WSJ notes that, according to data available via the United States Federal Reserve, the top 1% of U.S. households hold about a third of all wealth.
How Really Decentralized Are These Digital Coins?
Without doubts, this new report puts a dent to the very foundational principle of Bitcoin being a decentralized network, and may bring about some form of skepticism for many in the crypto community.
Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan has also weighed in on this decentralization issue. According to Greenspan, Satoshi Nakamoto — supposed creator of Bitcoin, controls much of the circulating BTC supply with Satoshi coins alone making up for more than 5%.
Additionally, Greenspan suggested that Bitcoin is designed in a way that its ownership will get even more distributed as time goes on.