News

Whale Watch: A Deep Dive Into the Concentrations of Large Crypto Holders

Three months ago the crypto economy was worth more than $3 trillion and since then, digital currency prices have slid a great deal in value, as crypto assets have been sold and distributed across many hands. Over the last decade, fluctuating price cycles have made it so some addresses, typically referred to as crypto whales, have been able to accumulate vast quantities of coins. Moreover, a few crypto projects have also seen whales accumulate a majority of a token’s circulating supply via the initial distribution process.

The Top 8 Crypto Assets by Concentration of Large Holders

The subject of whales is a popular one in the world of cryptocurrencies, as the entities have always been a force to be reckoned with. Whales are large crypto asset holders who own more tokens than the average person, and they are called whales because their giant holdings can move markets, much like whales in the ocean that can shake up boats and cause massive waves.

After more than a decade of people launching thousands of alternative crypto assets, years of digital currency trading, and the ever-changing price cycles, whale concentrations have changed over the years. The following is a look at the current concentration of large holders and crypto whales throughout the crypto economy’s top digital assets by market valuation. The concentration of large holders list and its onchain data derive from coincarp.com and intotheblock.com statistics.

Bitcoin (BTC) Concentration of Large Holders

The leading crypto asset bitcoin (BTC) is the oldest digital currency in the world based on blockchain technology, and it is assumed that BTC had a very fair distribution process. It is also assumed that Satoshi Nakamoto may own around 750,000 to 1 million BTC, which sit in addresses holding unspent block rewards. This means Satoshi’s stash is spread out and the inventor’s concentration of ownership is not easy to find. Intotheblock.com metrics shows BTC’s concentration of large holders today is 10%.

Bitcoin (BTC) concentration of large holders via Intotheblock.com stats on January 28, 2022 (pictured left). Bitcoin holder stats via Coincarp.com metrics on January 28, 2022 (pictured right).

Intotheblock.com leverages the “total holdings of whales (addresses that own more than 1% of the circulating supply) and Investors (addresses that own between 0.1% and 1% of the circulating supply).” Coincarp.com data on January 28, 2022, indicates that the top ten bitcoin addresses hold 5.30% of the current BTC supply in circulation. The top 20 largest BTC holders own 7.26% of the supply, and the top 50 bitcoin addresses own 10.78%. Onchain metrics further indicate that there are 40,301,661 bitcoin holders today.

Ethereum (ETH) Concentration of Large Holders

Ethereum metrics are different as Intotheblock.com stats show concentration by large holders is 42%, which is much higher than BTC’s concentration of whales. Coincarp.com data shows that there’s 185,912,265 ethereum holders and ETH’s top ten addresses hold 23.39% of the current supply. The top 20 ether holders possess 27.06% of the supply and the top 50 own 33.02%. Regarding the top 100 wallet addresses by ether balance, these hold 39.58% of the current ETH supply.

Binance Coin (BNB) Concentration of Large Holders

Binance coin’s (BNB) concentration of large holders data is not available on Intotheblock.com. Coincarp.com metrics, however, indicate that the top ten BNB addresses possess 88.23% of the supply. Onchain stats further show there are 321,134 BNB holders today. The top three BNB addresses are operated by Binance’s exchange platform, as the richest BNB holder is an exchange wallet with 52.02% of the BNB supply. The second-richest BNB wallet operated by Binance holds 27.14%, while 3.55% of the supply is also held by the third-largest address owned by the trading platform. BNB metrics indicate that more than 82% of the BNB supply is held by Binance operated wallets.

Cardano (ADA) Concentration of Large Holders

According to stats, there are 325,604 cardano (ADA) holders on January 28, 2022. Intotheblock.com metrics show that ADA’s concentration by large holders data today is 17%. Data shows that the top 10 addresses hold 4.36% of the ADA supply, while the top 20 own 5.86% of the supply. The number one richest ADA wallet currently possesses 1.37% of the ADA supply. 100 ADA holders hold 16.76% of the 34,186,794,009 ADA in circulation today.

Xrp (XRP) Concentration of Large Holders

While XRP’s Intotheblock.com metrics are null, Coincarp.com data shows that the top ten holders own 78.02% of the XRP supply. The top five XRP wallets are operated by exchanges, as the richest wallet operated by Binance holds 26.91% of the XRP supply. The top 20 XRP wallets hold 80.93% of the supply, and the top 100 addresses currently possess 85.99% of the XRP in circulation today, which is currently around 47,736,918,345 tokens.

Solana (SOL) Concentration of Large Holders

Statistics show that there’s a current supply of 314,967,774 SOL in circulation. The top ten addresses hold 10.11% of the SOL supply today, while the largest holder owns 1.58% of the SOL in circulation. The top 20 SOL wallets possess 15.77%, the top 50 hold 26.82%, and the top 100 solana (SOL) wallets hold 34.64% of all the SOL in existence. The number of wallets that hold a fraction of SOL or more today is 8,383,421 holders.

Usually, Concentrations of Crypto Whales Grow Larger

Data shows that the top eight coins by market valuation today have different concentrations of large holders known as whales. Stablecoins also have a concentration of large holders and the top ten tether (USDT) ERC20 wallets hold 26.79% of the current supply. The top ten usd coin (USDC) wallets currently hold 36.22% of the supply. 10.64% of the USDC supply is held by Maker dao while Binance holds 5.62% of all the ERC20-based tethers.

Digital currency proponents don’t like large concentrations of whale holders as they could dump their coins on the market to make people panic sell. It is well known that at times large holders of any financial asset can collude and dump hoards of assets on the open market to make the price drop lower. While initially scaring the market, in the end whales make off after a dump because they simply buy back when the panic selling drops prices lower. Traditionally, because of the concentration of large holder levels and illiquid markets, crypto whales grow much larger after bear market cycles.

Tags in this story
ada, addresses, Bitcoin Rich List, Bitcoin Whales, bnb, BTC, BTC Whales, Cardano, Coincarp.com, Concentration of Large Holders, Crypto Whales, downward distribution cycle, ETH, Funds, individuals, intotheblock.com, Rich Lists, SOL, Solana Whales, Traders, USDC, USDT, Wallet Rich Lists, Whale Crypto, whale entities, Whale Watch, Whales, XRP

What do you think about the top eight coins and the concentration of large holders? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Read disclaimer
Show comments