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Do the rich get richer? An empirical analysis of the BitCoin transaction network

Author

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  • D'aniel Kondor
  • M'arton P'osfai
  • Istv'an Csabai
  • G'abor Vattay

Abstract

The possibility to analyze everyday monetary transactions is limited by the scarcity of available data, as this kind of information is usually considered highly sensitive. Present econophysics models are usually employed on presumed random networks of interacting agents, and only macroscopic properties (e.g. the resulting wealth distribution) are compared to real-world data. In this paper, we analyze BitCoin, which is a novel digital currency system, where the complete list of transactions is publicly available. Using this dataset, we reconstruct the network of transactions, and extract the time and amount of each payment. We analyze the structure of the transaction network by measuring network characteristics over time, such as the degree distribution, degree correlations and clustering. We find that linear preferential attachment drives the growth of the network. We also study the dynamics taking place on the transaction network, i.e. the flow of money. We measure temporal patterns and the wealth accumulation. Investigating the microscopic statistics of money movement, we find that sublinear preferential attachment governs the evolution of the wealth distribution. We report a scaling relation between the degree and wealth associated to individual nodes.

Suggested Citation

  • D'aniel Kondor & M'arton P'osfai & Istv'an Csabai & G'abor Vattay, 2013. "Do the rich get richer? An empirical analysis of the BitCoin transaction network," Papers 1308.3892, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1308.3892
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    Cited by:

    1. David Garcia & Claudio Juan Tessone & Pavlin Mavrodiev & Nicolas Perony, 2014. "The digital traces of bubbles: feedback cycles between socio-economic signals in the Bitcoin economy," Papers 1408.1494, arXiv.org.
    2. Kristoufek, Ladislav, 2014. "What are the main drivers of the Bitcoin price? Evidence from wavelet coherence analysis," FinMaP-Working Papers 23, Collaborative EU Project FinMaP - Financial Distortions and Macroeconomic Performance: Expectations, Constraints and Interaction of Agents.
    3. Stjepan Beguv{s}i'c & Zvonko Kostanjv{c}ar & H. Eugene Stanley & Boris Podobnik, 2018. "Scaling properties of extreme price fluctuations in Bitcoin markets," Papers 1803.08405, arXiv.org.
    4. Reginald D. Smith, 2017. "Bitcoin Average Dormancy: A Measure of Turnover and Trading Activity," Papers 1712.10287, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2018.
    5. Fry, John & Cheah, Eng-Tuck, 2016. "Negative bubbles and shocks in cryptocurrency markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 343-352.
    6. Nadarajah, Saralees & Chu, Jeffrey, 2017. "On the inefficiency of Bitcoin," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 6-9.
    7. Massimiliano Zanin & David Papo & Miguel Romance & Regino Criado & Santiago Moral, 2016. "The topology of card transaction money flows," Papers 1605.04938, arXiv.org.
    8. Abeer ElBahrawy & Laura Alessandretti & Anne Kandler & Romualdo Pastor-Satorras & Andrea Baronchelli, 2017. "Evolutionary dynamics of the cryptocurrency market," Papers 1705.05334, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2017.
    9. Zura Kakushadze & Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, 2018. "CryptoRuble: From Russia with Love," Papers 1801.05760, arXiv.org.
    10. Zanin, Massimiliano & Papo, David & Romance, Miguel & Criado, Regino & Moral, Santiago, 2016. "The topology of card transaction money flows," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 462(C), pages 134-140.

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