Bitcoin (BTC) is still concentrated in just “a few hands,” with the top 10,000 individual holders controlling one-third of the circulating coins, a widely reported research paper claims. However, members of the Bitcoin community stress that the research is misleading.
According to the paper, written by two researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an American private nonprofit research organization, the Bitcoin ecosystem is “still dominated by large and concentrated players, be it large miners, bitcoin holders or exchanges.”
“This inherent concentration makes bitcoin susceptible to systemic risk and also implies that the majority of the gains from further adoption are likely to fall disproportionately to a small set of participants,” NBER’s paper said.
The research was also reported on by Bloomberg, which on Twitter said that “The top 1,000 individual investors control about 3 million bitcoins, and the concentration could be even greater.”
Responding to these claims, Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics and founding partner of Castle Island Ventures, moved to debunk the notion that BTC holdings are as concentrated today as they were in Bitcoin’s infancy.