Bitcoin: less distributed than the dollar

One of the mantras that are frequently repeated when talking about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies ands that it is a much more democratic system and that, thanks to its distributed nature, it distributes power (based on the possession of the “currency”) in a more just way. Furthermore, it is common to find comparisons that state that the dollar is a more “unfair” currency than Bitcoin, and that its low redistribution of wealth is a clear example of them.

However, this does not appear to be the case, according to research carried out by The Wall Street Journal, 0.01% of Bitcoin investors control about 27% of the total Bitcoins mined so far. That 27% figure equates to around 5 million Bitcoins, which in turn amounts to about $ 232 billion. A particularly small and select club, they own more than a quarter of the total cryptocurrency.

In comparison, according to this study, 1% of Americans hold about one-third of all the nation’s wealth, a problem of inequality that has been pointed out on multiple occasions, curiously some of them precisely by the defenders of cryptocurrencies, that is, by people who affirm that Bitcoin and company are the solution to that problem. Something that, in view of the facts, does not seem very likely at this time.

The study data regarding the distribution of Bitcoin originates from the US National Bureau of Economic Research, and the study is endorsed by professors from the MIT Sloan School of Management and the London School of Economics. These teachers and researchers have analyzed and mapped every bitcoin transaction during its 13 years of existence.

From this we can conclude that that 0.01% of users are the main interested in that the price of Bitcoin stays up, which can lead these people to carry out all kinds of actions aimed at this end. Thus, again, we find that Bitcoin could reproduce the movements made by currency-issuing banks and other financial entities, movements that are also criticized by at least part of investors and defenders of cryptocurrencies.

To this we must add something that we have been warning about for a long time, and that is how influential are cryptocurrencies. The clearest example we have seen in the relationship between Bitcoin and Tesla, but we also saw it in May with Dogecoin, coinciding with the appearance of Elon Musk on Saturday Night Live. A currency that can experience this type of fluctuation simply because of the actions of a private company does not inspire much confidence.

Currently there is no way to know for sure if the future of money is cryptocurrencies, but what does seem clear is that the current model is not the solution to certain problems that many have advocated for years. Whether or not Bitcoin is the future will depend at least in part on important changes in its operation, mainly those that allow it to improve its stability. But, above all, that they do not become a resource accumulated mostly by an elite as miniscule, in size, as the one we can see today.

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Bitcoin: less distributed than the dollar

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