Chainalysis, a blockchain research firm, has published a report that shows 33% of all circulating Ethereum (ETH) tokens are owned by just 376 people. The report also states that 20% of Bitcoin (BTC) is owned by a small group of people.
The post then goes on to look into the transaction activity of these individuals, which they say amounts to only 7% of all transaction activity. The report reads,
As of May 1, 2019, of the top 500 largest holders, 124 were services, and the remaining 376 were individual whales. We found that these 376 whales control 33% of the circulating supply in 2019, down from 47% in 2016…While consistently controlling a large portion of the Ether circulating supply, these whales paradoxically only account for a small percentage of Ether’s economic transaction activity. Whales consistently hold 25-40% of the circulating supply of Ether, but only account for between 5% and 18% of economic transaction volume. This is because most of the whales (~60%) are holding their assets or not regularly trading with exchanges.
The ideas that there these small group of token holders, called whales, has formed both support and doubt.