Cryptocurrencies and Inequality

Notes on the 21st Century (CBRI), 2019

9 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2019

See all articles by Usman W. Chohan

Usman W. Chohan

UNSW Business School; Critical Blockchain Research Initiative (CBRI); Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS)

Date Written: January 23, 2019


This discussion paper considers the nature of inequality as it is perpetuated in the cryptocurrency universe, specifically in terms of the concentration of Bitcoin wealth in but a handful of owners/wallets/addresses. It ties this into the competing narrative of cryptoanarchism wherein cryptocurrencies are a means of democratization of wealth through a wider distribution of autonomous participants. The paper suggests that the cryptoanarchist narrative clashes with the reality of a massive concentration of cryptocurrency wealth that reproduces the levels of inequality found in traditional forms of capital.

Keywords: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Inequality, Wealth, Cryptoanarchism

Suggested Citation

Chohan, Usman W., Cryptocurrencies and Inequality (January 23, 2019). Notes on the 21st Century (CBRI), 2019. Available at SSRN: or

Usman W. Chohan (Contact Author)

UNSW Business School ( email )

UNSW Business School
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052

Critical Blockchain Research Initiative (CBRI) ( email )

Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS) ( email )


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