More than 55 percent of the world’s circulating supply of bitcoin is controlled by less than 1 percent of all BTC wallets, according to cryptocurrency research firm Diar. And a stunning 42 percent of those bitcoin holders did not sell their BTC in 2017, even when bitcoin prices approached a record high of $19,783.
Analysts at Diar interpreted the bitcoin whales’ “hold” positions to mean that either they lost the private keys to their wallet addresses — or they’re long-term holders who are bullish about the market. Individuals who hold huge quantities of bitcoin are called “whales.”
“Over 55 percent of bitcoins currently sit in wallets that have balances upwards of 200 coins,” according to Diar. “And impressively, one-third of the bitcoins that are sitting in these wallets have never made an outgoing transaction.”
So here’s the rundown, according to Diar’s research:
- 1 percent of all wallets control $100 billion in bitcoin.
- 55 percent of the world’s bitcoin sits in wallets with balances exceeding 200 BTC (or $1.28 million at today’s bitcoin price).
- 42 percent of those BTC wallets made no outgoing movements during the price peak in December 2017.
- One-third of the bitcoins that are sitting in these wallets have never made an outgoing transaction.
There has been widespread speculation that bitcoin prices are being manipulated by bitcoin whales, so much so that the U.S. Department of Justice launched a criminal investigation into price manipulation in May 2018, as the Inquisitr previously reported.
Many market participants said they wouldn’t be surprised to find instances of fraud given the opaque, unregulated nature of the digital currency market.
Economist: Bitcoin Is A Scam And A Passing Fad
Robert Shiller, a Yale University professor and Nobel Prize-winning economist, said the tech community’s love affair with bitcoin is a passing fancy that’s driven by emotions and is not rooted in financial fundamentals.
Shiller, who has repeatedly called bitcoin a bubble that’s about to burst, said there’s no logic behind its soaring price swings or escalating media hype.
“I don’t know that for sure, but it strikes me that the reason people are so excited about it is more psychological than something that could be explained by the computer science department,” he told CNBC (video below).
Shiller, an avowed bitcoin bear who’s famous for his work on spotting financial bubbles, says the hype surrounding the decentralized cryptocurrency market stems partly from its image as rebelling against “The System.”
“I think it’s partly political,” Shiller said. “Economists tend to neglect the political side. There’s a big element of people who don’t trust the government anymore, and they like the idea that this didn’t come from the government. It came from some real smart computer scientist. It’s a great story for today’s markets.”
Billionaire Tim Draper Sets $250,000 Bitcoin Price Target
One bitcoin whale is rumored to be tech billionaire Tim Draper, an avowed cryptocurrency evangelist.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Draper famously purchased 40,000 bitcoin at $600 apiece back in 2014, when few people had heard of cryptocurrencies.
Tim has reportedly never sold his stash, which today is worth more than $256 million. That’s a profit of $232 million in four years.
Draper recently set a $250,000 bitcoin price target for 2022. Despite the recent bear market, the venture capitalist stands by his prediction.
“I’m thinking $250,000 a bitcoin by 2022,” Tim Draper said. “They’re going to think you’re crazy, but believe it. It’s happening and it’s going to be awesome!”