According to recent public blockchain data compiled by analytics company Glassnode, retail investors currently hold about 17% of the total circulating Bitcoin. The percentage of Bitcoin supply held by retail investors has increased steadily since 2011, according to the Glassnode chart below. Glassnode defines “retail” as having less than 10 Bitcoins (BTC), which are presently worth close to $169,000, in a wallet.
This appears to be supported by data from IntoTheBlock, another blockchain analytics provider. According to the company’s page on the distribution of Bitcoin holdings, addresses with 0–10 BTC represent 17.3% of the entire supply of Bitcoin.
Early in 2020, this number was less than 12%, but in 2022 it started to rise dramatically. Late 2013 into early 2014, as well as late 2017—each a late bull market/early bear market period for Bitcoin—were other instances of significant retail accumulation.
Previous definitions of “entities” by Glassnode included groups of blockchain addresses that may or may not share the same owner as unique owners of Bitcoin. 13.9% of the supply, which “has been growing over the course of Bitcoin’s lifetime,” was held by entities with less than 10 BTC in February 2021, according to the report.
Bitcoin has received a lot of flak for its high degree of ownership concentration, which some people feel undermines the decentralised claims made by its proponents. As per a top news phblishing website, only 2% of accounts owned 95% of all Bitcoin as of November 2020.
This statistic, however, does not take into consideration the distinction between people and wallet addresses, including exchange addresses, which might store Bitcoin on behalf of thousands or even millions of different users, as Glassnode pointed out in a direct response. In comparison to other popular cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Dogecoin, Bitcoin also seems to have a more evenly distributed supply among different percentiles.
On the other hand Ethereum was also accused of breaking the values of decenzation after its Merge update. Despite the joy surrounding Ethereum’s move to PoS, the community has voiced concerns about the blockchain’s centralization and greater regulatory scrutiny. While Ethereum advocates say that anyone with 32 ETH can become a validator, it is important to keep in mind that 32 ETH, or around $41,416, is a significant chunk of money for a rookie or ordinary trader.
After the Merge, only two addresses were in charge of 46.15% of the nodes that were used for data storage, transaction processing, and creating new blockchain blocks, making the centralization element readily clear.