Scientists from the National Bureau of Economic Research have found that most bitcoins are owned by a small number of investors. This casts doubt on the concept of currency decentralization.
Around 1% of bitcoin (BTC) holders control over a quarter of all cryptocurrencies, according to a new study. The National Bureau of Economic Research, an American private non-profit research organization, has released a document claiming that 10,000 crypto investors, or 0.01% of all BTC holders, own 5 million BTC, or 27% of the total cryptocurrency.
The number of bitcoins owned by 1% of investors is approximately $ 232 billion. The findings of the researchers suggest that Bitcoin is not as decentralized as people think. “Despite the fact that bitcoin has been around for 14 years, it is still a very concentrated ecosystem,” the scientists noted.
The new report could cause alarm in the crypto community, as the main Bitcoin proponents are promoting decentralization as one of the main principles of the network.
According to the founder of Quantum Economics, Mati Greenspan, most of the bitcoin turnover is controlled by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the cryptocurrency. “Only his coins make up more than 5% of the total volume,” Greenspan said. He added that over time, bitcoin ownership should have become more distributed, but so far this is not the case.
The researchers also noted that some of the bitcoins are not controlled by anyone and remained in forgotten wallets. According to the crypto insurance company Coincover, about 4 million bitcoins have been withdrawn from circulation due to the loss of access.