The Bitcoin network has become more and more used, so the total BTC supply is scattered across more addresses. On the other hand, the situation is quite different in some important altcoins compared to Bitcoin, and almost 95 percent of their total supply is in the hands of a few big addresses.
This information is included in a report compiled by the popular data tracking resource Coin Metrics. The report summarizes the wealth distribution of some popular cryptocurrencies by examining a large number of data variables.
Whales’ Domination Over Bitcoin
As expected, the report includes the analysis of Bitcoin addresses, the largest cryptocurrency with market value, and concluded that in 2012, only a few people checked the circulating supply of BTC. More specifically, 33 percent of Bitcoin’s circulating supply at that time was held at addresses where at least 1/1000 of the total BTC supply was available.
With the popularity of Bitcoin increasing over time and more and more people joining the network, circulating BTCs have slowly spread over millions of different addresses. While analysis in January showed that there were approximately 30 million Bitcoin addresses, 11 percent of Bitcoin’s supply, which was quickly distributed among more addresses for nine years, was kept at whale addresses.
The situation is quite surprising in altcoins
On the Ethereum (ETH) side, 60 percent of circulating supply was held at addresses where at least 1/1 of all ETHs were located, mainly due to ICOs in 2016. This rate has dropped as the inflated ICO balloon faded in 2017 and 2018, and by February 2020, it appears that the major addresses have approximately 40 percent of the total Ether (ETH) supply.
Litecoin’s wealth distribution is also very similar to Ether. 46 percent of the circulating supply is kept at addresses where at least 1/1000 of the total supply is available.
Among all the altcoins examined, it seems that the supply of Ripple and Stellar is largely under the control of a low number of addresses. This is quite normal since official foundations store a significant portion of local cryptocurrencies, 85 percent of XRP and 95 percent of XLM are kept at large addresses.
Multiple Blockchain networks are used for Tether (USDT) tokens . In the study, the distribution of USDT between addresses in Ethereum, Omni and Tron Blockchains was examined and it was concluded that all three Blockchains started to concentrate 100 percent. However, USDT-ETH and USDT-Omni appear to be increasingly dispersed over time. Since the USDT-TRX has not moved much yet, the distribution rate among these Blockchain addresses is quite low.
While USDT-ETH and USDT-Omni are used as a medium of exchange, Tron is currently being ignored. In addition, the report mentioned that other stablecoins have passed Tether in terms of the number of transfers in 30 days, and it is stated that USDT’s dominance over the stablecoin market may decrease.