Report: Less Than 6 Accounts Control 80% of Wealth on Top Stablecoins

A report published by CoinMetrics has found extreme wealth centralization among many top stablecoins, with at least 80% of the total capitalization for five top stable tokens being held in less than six accounts.

CoinMetrics found that most at least 20% of transfers made using most stablecoins are valued at less than $100, showing significant stable token adoption as a means of payment.

The report also found that more than 40% of transactions made using the Paxos Standard Token (PAX) are directly linked to a single multi-level marketing, or MLM, Ponzi scheme.

Stablecoins show extreme wealth centralization

The report found many stablecoins to exhibit extreme wealth centralization, with less than six accounts of the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Binance USD (BUSD), Huobi Dollar (HUSD), Tron (TRX)-based Tether (USDT), and USDK networks representing over 80% of each token’s respective capitalization.

USDT issued on Ethereum comprised the most pluralistic stablecoin market by far, with nearly 1,600 accounts representing 80% of wealth. USD Coin (USDC) and TrueUSD (TUSD) followed with nearly 200 accounts each, trailed by Omni-based USDT with over 150.

Stablecoin wealth distribution

Stablecoin wealth distribution. Source: CoinMetrics

Looking at the total number of transfers made using stable tokens, USDC comprises the second-most distributed stablecoin with over 20% of wallets driving 80% of transfers, followed by Omni-based USDT and GUSD in the high-teens, and TUSD with nearly 15%.

Stablecoin activity distribution

Stablecoin activity distribution. Source: CoinMetrics

Paxos reportedly comprises fuel for MLM Ponzi

At first glance, the findings appeared to show significant pluralism on the Paxos network, with nearly 50% of wallets representing 80% of the token’s total capitalization.

However, closer inspection shows Paxos’ two-most active accounts to be directly linked to the MMM BSC Ponzi. The scheme has seen exponential activity growth in user activity over the past year — currently representing nearly 40% of all Paxos network activity.

Percentage of PAX transactions associated with MMM BSC Ponzi

Percentage of PAX transactions associated with MMM BSC Ponzi. Source: CoinMetrics

CoinMetrics also found that the most-active Tron-based USDT accounts were associated with “dividend” payouts, representing over 90% of network activity on certain days.

Sub-$100 transfers represent at least 20% of stablecoin activity

At least 20% of transfers made using eight of the 10 stable tokens examined by CoinMetrics are valued at less than $100.

Less than 4% of transfers are valued in excess of $100,000 for all stablecoins except for HUSD and BUSD — with transfers worth over $100,000 comprising more than 35% of HUSD activity and roughly 17% of BUSD transactions.