A really interesting FT article reproduced in today's Irish Times Bitcoin: Who really owns it, the whales or small fry? Here are some excerpts but the full article is worth reading. ‘Liquidity event’ Indeed, Chainalysis estimates that longer-term holders sold at least $30 billion worth of bitcoin to new speculators over the December to April period, with half of this movement taking place in December alone. “This was an exceptional transfer of wealth,” says Philip Gradwell, Chainalysis’ chief economist, who dubs the past six months as bitcoin’s “liquidity event”. Gradwell argues that this sudden injection of liquidity – the amount of bitcoin available for trading rose by close to 60 per cent over that period – has been a “fundamental driver” behind the recent price decline. At the same time, bitcoin trading volumes have now fallen in tandem with the prices, from close to $4 billion daily in December to $1 billion today. Bitcoin wallets Overall, some 1,600 bitcoin wallets – managed by both speculators and investors – contained at least 1,000 bitcoin each in April, according to Chainalysis, collectively holding nearly 5 million bitcoin, or close to a third of the available total. Of those, just under 100 wallets owned by longer-term investors contained between 10,000 and 100,000 bitcoin – so between $75 million and $750 million at today’s prices. “This concentration of wealth means that bitcoin is at risk of volatility, as the moves of a small number of people will have a large effect,” says Chainalysis’ Gradwell.