As we currently go through the most delicate phase of Bitcoin cycles, cryptocurrencies and in particular altcoins have seen their market cap drop significantly. However, great holders remain with every project.
With this article, we will focus on the people or entities that own the most cryptocurrency from the same project (excluding stablecoins). Are the amounts unequal, especially for projects where the crypto in question is also a governance token that grants voting rights?
1- Bitcoin & Satoshi Nakamoto
Recently, at Be[In]We have written an article on the main Bitcoin whales (entities or individuals) and resumed the rankings available based on data from the Blockchain. Even if it is difficult to establish a concrete and definitive classification, as the whales update their bitcoin holdings weekly and secure their assets within different wallets, it is possible to suspect.
However, it can be noted that after the theoretical 1.1 million tokens that would be held by the mysterious creator Satoshi Nakomoto, i.e. almost 5.78% of the Bitcoin supply currently in circulation and 5.23% when all Bitcoins will are mined, the large receptacles in inclusion.
Excluding Satoshi Nakamoto’s companies, large whales have much smaller companies. Even if they collectively own nearly half of the bitcoins in circulation, their weight individually would remain low with 1.32% of the coins in circulation for the whale at the top of the rankings.
However, some whales may have saved more BTC on other wallets and especially cold wallets.
2-Ethereum and Vitalik Buterin
Founders eager for the Ethereum blockchain and other blockchains. The initial endowment for the launch of the projects contributes greatly to building great fortunes when these said projects work.
For Vitalik Butherin, the founder of Ethereum, an initial “reward” of more than 500,000 ethers is said to have been handed out, making him one of the most important whales of the token. The main “Ethereum killers” have reached distributions similar to those of the founders of Ethereum. †
According to ClankApp, Ethereum’s largest whale owns nearly 11% (10.87%) of the tokens in circulation. While Ether’s supply is deflationary, this stock promises to strengthen in the future. In exact value, there are exactly 12,986,325 ether in this wallet.
The other wallets are deductible and generally have no more than 2% of the tokens in circulation, with the exception of the 2nd whale which, with an amount of 4,690,554 tokens, comprises 3.92% of the supply. These amounts would be significantly greater than Vitalik Buterin’s, who would therefore have a meager percentage of ethers, compared to Satoshi Nakamoto’s potential Bitcoin holdings.
3-BNB Coin and Changpeng Zhao
Although BNB Coin is still a young token compared to the first two, it has reached a significant market cap in a short time, propelling itself to the top 5 tokens by market cap if USDT stablecoins are included, and USDC at the top.
However, for this token, the distribution is different, with a founder allegedly owning a large share of the BNB. Indeed, according to an article presenting the whales of each crypto project, Changpeng Zhao or “CZ” is said to own nearly 40% of the total supply. Enough to have some control over the token, its price movements and the speculation surrounding it.
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4-XRP and Brad Garlinghouse & Chris Larsen
The Ripple teams own the majority of the tokens as they are not currently fully circulating, and the distribution is gradual with monthly additions. However, the founders and CEO have inherited generous distributions of tokens, making them great holders as well.
Even though it is harder for Ripple to get an accurate top, some wallets represent significant weight. For example, 94,157,328 of the tokens are held by the first BEP-20 wallet. According to some sources, Chris Larsen is currently the largest holder of XRP.
5-Solana and the founding team
Solana is said to have reserved an equally large distribution for the founding team and is said to have allocated nearly 13% of the total token supply. These were worth close to $0.20 at the time of distribution.
As of May 2022, the top 20 holders will own nearly 22% of the tokens currently in circulation. The amount in SOL is therefore almost 74 million tokens, enough to weigh any type of evolution associated with the Blockchain Solana.
However, the largest addresses on the Blockchain Solana have a low token dominance which is in contrast to other projects. Indeed, only 4 addresses are said to own more than 1% of the tokens issued, which is nothing alarming or impressive if we compare with the holders of the BNB token.
Really decentralized projects?
For some of the projects discussed and others not covered in this article that have a similar configuration, the distribution of tokens may appear uneven, with an initial distribution of questionable fairness.
Typically, cryptocurrencies should follow a decentralized configuration, with in some cases voting within communities via governance tokens. However, in some cases, the decision-making power we think we have can turn out to be very theoretical as the project’s founding teams have a sufficient or nearly sufficient share of the tokens to allow a vote to be approved in their favor.
For example, voting related to token listing on Binance is open to all BNB holders, but there is no doubt that if CZ and the other founding members of Binance and its tokens were to participate in the vote, the outcome would seem decided in advance. . Indeed, the more BNB you own, the more votes you get.
Start-ups or companies related to cryptocurrencies follow allocation models that are similar to companies, but companies should have more influence over the decision-making power as they are based on this type of model. However, cryptocurrencies take or want to take a different stance, with a decentralized world where decisions are made collectively.
With an uneven distribution of tokens, the voices of the community do not seem demonstrative. Indeed, one or more whales may prove “powerful” enough to tip the scales in their favor during a community vote.
For Ryan Watkins, an analyst at Messari, the distribution that allocates a significant portion of the tokens to the founders would therefore be a semblance of democracy.
†When you build systems that should be more democratic [vote sur les décision des projets]it’s just not democratic†
Ryan Watkins analyst at Messari.
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