Just 376 people hold a third of all Ether, the cryptocurrency that powers the Ethereum blockchain, according to new research by Chainalysis Inc.
Large holders are known in the crypto market as “whales,” which Chainalysis defines as individuals who hold their assets in digital wallets and not on an exchange, Kim Grauer, a senior economist at the company, said in an interview. By comparison, 448 people own 20 percent of all Bitcoin, she said.
Chainalysis also looked at the effect Ether whales have on price, and found that large holders don’t move their cryptocurrency often.
“The majority of whales aren’t traders,” she said. “They’re mostly holding.”
The study also found that when a whale moves Ether from a wallet to an exchange, there is a small but statistically significant effect on market volatility.
Investor sentiment and the price of Bitcoin are strong indicators of where Ether will trade, the Chainalysis research found. As Bitcoin rallied 52 percent since the beginning of May, Ether rose 48 percent.