The bitcoin space was supposed to be decentralized. One that was controlled by the people that owned it. It was supposed to give people more financial independence and say in their futures. However, light is being shed on an arena that is now largely controlled by a small group of crypto-centered businessmen.
Is Bitcoin Remaining Decentralized?
As it turns out, more than 95 percent of the world’s total bitcoins are stored within two percent of the world’s crypto accounts. This data comes by way of Flipside Crypto, a research firm that suggests bitcoin is perhaps not as decentralized as it’s been made out to be. Among the top bitcoin influencers are Dan Morehead, the founder of Pantera Capital; Barry Silbert, the founder of Digital Currency Group, and Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who currently run the Gemini Exchange in New York.
In addition, there are also figures such as Brian Armstrong, the young CEO of Coinbase, one of the biggest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. At this time, the company has filed paperwork to go public, and Armstrong – who is rather rich and controls a healthy portion of the world’s bitcoin supply – is set to become even stronger and wealthier with this move.
Individuals like Morehead remember a time when bitcoin wasn’t anywhere near as large as it is today. He’s been an investor for much of his adult life and remembers when bitcoin was small and unknown. He states in an interview:
I was first attracted to bitcoin as an investment. It was something interesting to learn about. I sent $2 million to Coinbase, and I started trying to buy $2 million of bitcoin. My daily trading limit was $50.
Today, Pantera manages more than $50 billion in assets and has invested in some of the world’s biggest tech and financial startups, while companies like Coinbase initially began in an apartment in San Francisco to become one of the largest digital trading platforms the world has ever seen.
By contrast, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss didn’t have years of investing under their belts when they first made their way into the bitcoin arena. In a recent discussion, Cameron mentions that their lack of career options and low interest in Wall Street is what made them curious about the digital currency.
Curiosity Is What Drove Them
Tyler and I didn’t have 20 years of capital markets experience when we came to bitcoin. We were open to this possibility, and that’s how we’ve always been: driven by curiosity… In the early days of Facebook, in watching and being part of that ride, we saw the power of networks, and so many people dismissing social networks as a fad… [Bitcoin] is a money network. What happens when you put an economic incentive around that network? That’s possibly the most effective network in the world.