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Bitcoin threatens to become the currency of the rich

Frankfort Bitcoin is not any digital currency. In the eyes of its supporters, the world's first and most important piece of cryptography is nothing short of a tool to break the power of conventional banking and financial players. The blockchain technique relies on the creation of a new financial world, according to the hope of the mysterious founder Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.

Ten years after its creation, it now appears that the real social conditions are also reflected in the supposedly anarchic world of crypto-currencies. This is evident, for example, when looking at the distribution of Bitcoin wealth.

As shown by a new study of the industrial portal Kryptoszene.de based on the analysis page of the Bitinfocharts blockchain, the inequality in the world of cryptography is particularly pronounced. The most important results:

  • There is a total of 13.5 million Bitcoin accounts (addresses). According to the survey, just under 42% of them use 1,000 or more bitcoins, which equates to one million or even billions of dollars in dollars.
  • Three account holders alone have just under 2.5% of all coins issued. 12.5% ​​of the coins are distributed in 106 accounts: their owners are super-rich in the cryptography world and have 10,000 to 100,000 virtual coins equivalent to the current value of about 20.8 billion dollars.
  • In contrast, nearly half of Bitcoin owners share a homeopathic amount of only 0.02% of total assets. For the vast majority of accounts, bitcoins are worth less than $ 10.

"The imbalance is huge," concludes Kryptoszene.de. Above all, the results were astonishing "that the decentralized nature of Blockchain would suggest that the gap between rich and poor in crypto-space would be smaller".

One thing is clear: the survey has methodological weaknesses. The analysis of the blockchain does not determine if a particular person's Bitcoin account belongs to a cryptographic company or even to a large asset manager. In this respect, the conclusion that the largest accounts are in the hands of millionaires and billionaires, must be treated with caution. It is also difficult to know which countries and which continents bear the holders.

However, observers claim that the gap of arms and scissors in the world of crypts is particularly large. This is also due to the rapid development of the market, says Philipp Sandner, Head of the Blockchain Center of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. "Few people keep a lot of bitcoins," he says.

As long as the currency had a niche existence, it did not pose any additional problem. However, because of the rapid rise in the price of bitcoin, from less than a dime ten years ago to about $ 9,300, their wealth has increased enormously. "It can cause problems, especially if you do not even know who these people are," Sandner warns.

Even in the analog world, wealth is spread very unevenly, as shown by the German debate on the reintroduction of the wealth tax. For the cryptographic world, these discussions are relatively new.

Unholy Power of the Kryto Super Rich

The share and power of crypto millionaires and billionaires could continue to grow with the influx of wealthy private investors into the market. Despite the turbulence in prices, Bitcoin and Co., increasingly wealthy, are buying – with a small portion of their analog assets, but with considerable amounts. For example, US asset managers such as Fidelity are now offering Bitcoin protection, while German start-ups such as Iconic Funds want to make trading on traditional stock exchanges possible.

We still do not know what makes the Arm-Reich-Schere long arm gaping cryptographic world. But what the influence of the super-rich can do is demonstrated by studies of American scientists John Griffin and Amin Shams of Texas State Universities and Ohio. They attribute the sharp rise in the price of bitcoin up to $ 20,000 in 2017 to the action of a single address that would have triggered a chain reaction.

"Our results suggest that it is not thousands of investors who determine the price of bitcoin, but only one big one," Griffin said, according to the Bloomberg news agency. "In a few years, people will be surprised that cryptographic investors put billions into the hands of people they did not know and who were barely regulated."

The Bitcoin scene is already discussing about a construction site putting at risk the vision of the beginning improved by the world: the high energy consumption of the Blockchain network and its impacts on the climate. A new bone of contention could follow: on the influence of crypto-millionaires on the entire market.

more: The blockchain technique did not fill many hopes. But now, start-ups and banks are working on a variety of new applications.