In the world of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) remain the largest digital assets based on market capitalization and are known to dictate the trajectory of the entire market. However, the distribution of these cryptocurrencies is vastly different, with Ethereum having a significantly higher percentage of its supply held by whales compared to Bitcoin.
In particular, as of February 26, 2023, around 39% of the total supply of Ethereum is concentrated among large addresses, data by crypto market intelligence platform IntoTheBlock
This is in stark contrast to Bitcoin, where large addresses hold only 11% of the total supply.
Indeed, contraction by holders metric aggregates the share of circulating supply held by whale addresses, accounting for over 1% of the supply and investors or addresses holding between 0.1%-1%. The combination of the two metrics equates to the total concentration by large holders.
Ethereum’s onchain activity
Ethereum’s large address concentration coincides with the network’s increased development activity. The staking feature remains the main highlight for the decentralized finance ecosystem following the historical Merge upgrade.
After months of testing, investors are set to start withdrawing their staked ETH in March after the Shanghai upgrade goes live.
Although the high concentration of Ethereum whales has different implications, it could hint at the investors’ future price outlook for the asset. It is worth noting that as Ethereum undergoes significant developments, proponents still bet the asset might flip Bitcoin.
At the same time, it can be argued that Ethereum is relatively cheap compared to Bitcoin, making it affordable to amass in large amounts.
Implication of whale addresses
The concentration of crypto wealth in the hands of a few large holders is a controversial topic in digital asset circles. Some argue that it is a natural outcome of the market and that wealthy individuals should be allowed to hold large amounts of digital assets.
Others, however, argue that this concentration of wealth goes against the decentralized ethos of cryptocurrency and could lead to market manipulation.
Regardless of varied opinions on the matter, the fact remains that Ethereum’s supply is significantly more concentrated in the hands of a few large holders compared to Bitcoin. This could have important implications for the future of the Ethereum ecosystem and its price.
By press time, Ethereum was trading at $1,645 with daily gains of over 4%, while Bitcoin is trading at $23,657.
Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.