The new top 1%

0.7% of the world's wealthiest families control 45.6% of the world's wealth, according to Credit Suisse. How will Bitcoin change that?

The new top 1%

Every year Credit Suisse publishes their updated global wealth distribution pyramid. By tracking these pyramids over the years you can visualize whether wealth distribution stays stable, whether it becomes more uniform, or whether the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

But that's beyond the point of this story. What's worth noting is that, collectively, top 0.7% wealthiest families own 45.6% of the world's wealth, and top 10% wealthiest families in the world effectively own more than 90% of the world's wealth, as measured in USD.

But imagine, for a moment, that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will become the mainstream measure of wealth and will become as widespread and as liquid as USD. What's going to happen?

We know already that every capitalist society will end up with a pyramid wealth distribution, so that's not going to change. But where does it leave us, the early adopters of the cryptocurrencies?

blockchain-wallet-users

Source: blockchain.info

By the most conservative estimates there are only 17,000,000 bitcoin wallets that were used at least once. It's worth pointing out that the number of real users is orders of magnitude lower, as we all know it's possible to create multiple bitcoin addresses and unlock them with the same private key, so the real number of people who own at least a fraction of BTC is more likely between 1 million and 5 million. We will discard all other cryptocurrencies from this analysis, as the second most popular one, Ethereum, can only boast about 2 million wallets created.

Today's world population is 7.5 billion. If we do a little bit of simple math, we end up with a number of 17 million divided by 7.5 billion equals 0.23%. Less than half percent of the world, at the most optimistic guess, owns cryptographic money.

This argument, combined together with the ideas from comments here, is why we're seeing the powerful people of this world trying to shut cryptocurrencies down in their infancy, while hedging and buying up bitcoin while it's cheap.

Or maybe some secret benefactor is dumping bitcoin prices so that more people can buy relatively cheap coins before the exchange rate becomes unstoppable? Only time will tell how this situation plays out.

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