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Elizabeth Warren rejects the claim that crypto can address inequality, saying the top 1% still reigns supreme

Elizabeth Warren

Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images

  • In a tweet on Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren rejected the crypto industry’s widely held claim that digital assets will foster financial inclusion.
  • “We need real solutions to make the financial system work for everyone, not just the wealthy,” she said in a tweet.
  • The Democratic senator has been among the most outspoken critics of digital assets.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Senator Elizabeth Warren has rejected the crypto industry’s widely held claim that digital assets will foster financial inclusion, pointing to the concentration of wealth across the richest individuals.

“We need real solutions to make the financial system work for everyone, not just the wealthy,” the Democratic senator said in a tweet Tuesday. “Bitcoin ownership is even more concentrated within the top 1% than dollars.”

Warren, who represents Massachusetts, linked a recent story published by The Wall Street Journal to her tweet, which detailed a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Among the key findings was a validation of the senator’s claim: that the top 10,000 bitcoin accounts hold 5 million bitcoins. At Wednesday’s price, this combined holding translates to roughly $239 billion. 

“Approximately 0.01% of bitcoin holders control 27% of the 19 million bitcoin in circulation,” the WSJ article said.

Warren, among the most outspoken critics of digital assets, called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to bring in tougher rules for related industries in June this year. In August, the senator urged regulators to speed up efforts to “take hold of the piece that’s within their jurisdiction.”

Her main concern is the damage these volatile assets can bring to small-time retail investors who are mostly getting cheated or losing money thanks to pump and dump schemes.

Still, despite the rapid growth of the crypto space, lawmakers seem torn about how to regulate the almost $3 trillion dollar industry.

Read more: You’re sitting on a huge crypto windfall. Here’s what you need to know about taxes, and last-minute tactics to minimize them.

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