Less Than 1% of Bitcoin Addresses Control Nearly 87% of BTC's Supply, Analysis Finds

Francisco Memoria

China’s state-run financial publication National Business Daily (NBD) has recently conducted an analysis of all bitcoin addresses, and found that about 0.7% currently control 86.9% of the flagship cryptocurrency’s circulating supply.

The reported used data from BTC.com and concluded that these addresses owned roughly $62 billion worth of the cryptocurrency, and that out of the 22.65 million addresses with some BTC in it, 97.2% have less than 1 bitcoin. Only 0.7%, the report adds, had over 10 BTC in them.

Distribution of all of Bitocin's addresses

After taking a closer look, NBD’s reporter, according to 8BTC, found that these addresses controlled roughly $62 billion worth bitcoin, while the other 97.2% with less than 1 BTC controlled 4.6% of the cryptocurrency’s circulating supply, less than $4 billion.

The study also found that the addresses on with the most BTC belong to cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex. It noted that various large addresses may belong to more than one person, and that it makes sense for exchanges to have the largest addresses as these hold funds for thousands of users.

The existence of other ‘bitcoin whales’, the reporter added, is worrisome for investors looking to enter the market as large buy and sell orders can have a significant impact on the market, but would represent a fraction of their holdings.

According to CryptoCompare data, it would take a 2,027 BTC sell order, worth $7.8 million, to send bitcoin’s price down 10% on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States.

Last year, cryptocurrency enthusiasts noticed a mysterious whale moved over $100 million worth of BTC to cryptocurrency exchanges, and the price of bitcoin dropped over $400 in 90 minutes, presumably because of a large sell order.

A report published last year by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis found that only 14% of all bitcoin addresses belong to private investors, and that only 37% of the addresses on the flagship cryptocurrency’s network are “economically relevant,” as the rest as used to facilitate payments.