The 1000 richest Bitcoin users control 40% of all the virtual currencies generated so far, a situation very different from the one imagined.
Bitcoin was going to be a revolution. Virtual currencies were a way to escape the tyranny of the market, controlled by a few multinationals; ideal for those who feel tied with the current economy.
In that context, the promise of a safe and private currency, in which everyone was equal, was perhaps too beautiful to be true. Although Bitcoin and other virtual currencies remain an alternative to “real” currencies, that does not mean they have not caught the worst of these.
A Bloomberg report reveals the extent to which the Bitcoin market has emulated the real; for example, in aspects such as the concentration of wealth.
The situation of Bitcoin is not precisely the dream of a communist; rather, thanks to the lack of legislation and public control, the accumulation of wealth has been given free rein.
The richest Bitcoin control 40% of the market.
According to Bloomberg, 40% of all bitcoins that exist are in possession of 1000 people. And the 100 most valuable Bitcoin accounts control 17.3% of all existing currencies. These are the “whales” or whales, the richest of the platform; those who have a purchasing power that the vast majority of Bitcoin users can never reach.
Exactly like in “real life”. The effect of such accumulation of wealth (virtual) is obvious. Each time one of these people makes a false move, the entire platform suffers. Last November, a transfer of 25,000 bitcoins (159 million dollars at the time) caused a massive panic; the analysts began to speculate if all those bitcoins were going to be sold, and what effect it would have on the value of the currency.
Fortunately for investors, Bitcoin continues to grow at a spectacular pace, albeit with dramatic and constant rises and falls. In this climate, it does not seem to matter too much that a few accumulate almost all the benefit; as long as the small investors can take something, whatever.
That is little consolation when you realize that a few individuals can greatly affect a market of hundreds of billions of dollars. When two or more “whales” are coordinated, they can make decisions that will affect everyone; and according to some experts, at least hundreds of users communicate their intentions among themselves, bordering on legality.
Bitcoin is not as decentralized as it appears
Bitcoin has not fulfilled its promise of a decentralized system either. Although in theory you do not need intermediaries to manage and obtain bitcoins, when it comes to the truth most users depend on startups like Coinbase. And many begin to see these companies as the new banks.
In the midst of the recent craze that led Bitcoin to exceed $ 17,000 momentarily, Coinbase became the most downloaded app in the App Store. And it was just at that moment that Coinbase stopped working.
downloaded on iPhone in the US
Due to the high traffic load, the app stopped working at times; in any other currency, this would not have been a big problem, but with Bitcoin a difference of minutes can mean losing or earning thousands of dollars. And the worst is that Bitcoin was supposed to be designed expressly to avoid this.
Is Bitcoin a disappointment, a parody of what was supposed to be? Maybe, but at this point it really matters little. Bitcoin is what it is, and there is no turning back.