The Bitcoin ecosystem continues to be dominated by a handful of platforms and companies.
Roughly 10.6% of Bitcoin’s (BTC) circulating supply is currently held on just five centralized exchanges, according to data published by Chain.info.
More than 1.96 million BTC is currently held between the major exchanges Coinbase, Huobi, Binance, OKEx, and Kraken.
Likely owing to its custody services, Coinbase holds by far the most, with 944,904 BTC currently spread across approximately 4.39 million different wallet addresses.
Huobi ranks second with 323,665 BTC held in roughly 901,600 unique wallets, followed by Binance with 289,961 BTC across nearly 2.7 million addresses. OKEx has 276,184 BTC in 339,000 wallets, while Kraken holds 126,510 Bitcoin among 672,000 addresses.
The next seven exchanges — Bitflyer, BIttrex, Bitfinex, Poloniex, Coincheck, Gate.io, and Bitstamp — hold a further 210,000 Bitcoins between them.
The data shows that many users still prefer to accept security risks associated with holding a significant portion of their holdings on centralized exchanges in spite of cryptocurrency’s fundamental ethos of decentralization and mantra of "not your keys, not your Bitcoin".
The percentage of the Bitcoin supply held on the five centralized exchanges may actually add up to significantly more than 10%, with Chainalysis recently estimating that the 3.7 million BTC that have not moved in more than five years are likely lost. If that’s true, then nearly 15% of Bitcoin’s supply is currently custodied across five centralized platforms.
written by Samuel Haig
Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur