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Bitcoin Has A ‘Whale’ Problem: 1,000 Investors Control Nearly Half The Market

Broken representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency, placed on a monitor that displays stock graph and binary codes, are seen in this illustration picture, Dec. 21. PHOTO: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

By Tyler Durden | 8 December 2017

ZERO HEDGE — If Jay Gould were alive today, he would’ve traded bitcoin.

Perhaps the most blatant hypocrisy perpetrated by bitcoin evangelists is their insistence that bitcoin and other digital currencies represent a return to a truly democratic financial system beyond the control of banks and other special interests, where players small and large can earn enormous profits simply by HODLing.

Of course, this idealistic take couldn’t be further from the truth. As Bloomberg points out, the markets for bitcoin and most of its cryptocurrency clones more closely resemble the US equity market of the Gilded Age, where a handful of powerful traders and brokers colluded to move prices in their favor. And because securities laws at the time were virtually nonexistent, the big players minted suckers with impunity.

According to Bloomberg, about 1,000 so-called “whales” control 40% of the bitcoin in circulation, giving them unrivaled leverage over the broader market. And because there are no laws explicitly banning collusion in digital currency markets, only the most blatant pump-and-dump operations risk being prosecuted as fraud. […]

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