Unequal distribution and bias – these are the two things that cryptocurrencies are said to be inherently free from. But are they? A study recently conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reveals something entirely different. According to the study, a mere 1% of Bitcoin’s investors owns the majority of BTC tokens – that’s 5 million tokens divided among 10,000 investors. 5 million Bitcoin tokens are worth $230 billion at recent prices.
Antoinette Schoar and Igor Makarov, the finance experts who wrote the study, said that Bitcoin participation continues to be skewed towards top-rung investors. This is despite the fact that it’s almost 2022 now and Bitcoin was launched more than a decade back in 2009.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, only 0.01% of Bitcoin holders control 27% of the cryptocurrency. So, going by this data, it’s hard to see how Bitcoin is any different from traditional money, at least in terms of unequal distribution and bias.
Schoar and Makarov suggest that in the years to come, the present-day ownership status of Bitcoin will have a role to play in who benefits the most. As the current ownership is so lopsided, it’s not so hard to see a very small percentage of investors reaping the most benefits from further adoption of the cryptocurrency.
Right now, the future of Bitcoin remains uncertain. Even though 2021 saw crypto being legalized by El Salvador, it also saw brutal crackdowns in China. India’s the latest country to be in the news for being set to introduce regulations to curb illegal activities in an unregulated and decentralized crypto landscape.