Several reports claiming 71% of Shiba Inu Coin (SHIB) is held by just 10 wallets have surfaced over the past few days.
These claims would paint a damaging picture of SHIB's circulating supply - the number of which is disputed. A highly centralised supply suggests only the very top, initial investors, would benefit from the coin rising in value.
There's just one problem - these reports aren't exactly accurate.
How Concentrated Is Shiba Inu?
Let's break down the claim - 71% of SHIB is held in 10 wallets.
This claim, while not explicitly pushed, comes courtesy of coin trackers. These resources will track the top wallets, publishing easily digestible statistics for its users.
However, like many API-based platforms, they miss one thing - context. The numbers pushed about SHIB miss several key facts about the top wallets that, by omitting, they risk misinforming audiences.
So let's add the context.
At first glance, the largest Shiba Inu wallet holds a whopping 41% of all SHIB. If correct, this would be an incredibly dangerous and questionable issue for SHIB. However, the wallet in question does not have access to the SHIB. It is a SHIB burn wallet that received the 410 trillion SHIB from Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin in his infamous burn. Indeed, most trackers no longer count this SHIB circulating.
Removing this 41% of SHIB drastically cuts the concentration down - although it's not out of the woods yet.
With a reported supply of 549 trillion SHIB, the remaining nine wallets make up around 45% of the total supply. For context, CoinMarketCap reports the top 10 Dogecoin wallets hold 40% of circulating DOGE.
However, SHIB’s concentration - and that of Dogecoin and countless other cryptocurrencies - is also likely even lower. This is due to exchanges.
Crypto.com and Binance hold the second and fifth-largest SHIB wallets, respectively. This totals a combined 85 trillion SHIB - some 15% of the circulating supply.
These exchanges don’t disclose the number of holders per coin. However, it’s likely a significant amount per platform, diluting their share of Shiba Inu.
Of course, there is some debate about whether you truly own the coins held by exchanges without the keys, which is why many opt for wallets instead. However, for this understanding, it isn’t like an individual such as CZ, the Binance CEO, himself holds 33 trillion SHIB.
Similarly, the fourth largest wallet containing 40 trillion SHIB - or 7% of the supply - is believed to belong to Wintermute. The India Crypto Covid Relief Fund exchanged its remaining SHIB with Wintermute in September. The slight issue we have here is that CoinGecko - another coin tracker - lists this address as a dead wallet in its calculation of the total circulating SHIB. However, if Wintermute, a liquidity provider to exchanges, decides to sell on or move this SHIB, it would be incorrect to class it as not in circulation.
Finally, in third place, we have one wallet containing 44 trillion SHIB that holds xSHIB. This is the wallet that collectively holds all the staked Shiba Inu from ShibaSwap, rather than belonging to a single whale.
So, if we discount the exchanges and staked SHIB from the 549 trillion SHIB, the remaining whale addresses in the top 10 hold 89 trillion SHIB - or 16% of the circulating SHIB.
While there are certainly large whales who hold billions in SHIB, and could undoubtedly cause unrest in the SHIB economy (as demonstrated in the recent dip), it isn’t exactly correct to say just 10 individuals hold 71% of the supply.
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