The Bitcoin Bell-Curve — A Long-Term Solution to Global Wealth & Income Inequality

The bell-curve is a beautiful thing and generally reflects “the natural order of things” in Life and Nature. Most of the population gather around the mean, with fewer on either side. Individuals move closer to, or further away from the mean due to natural factors. It’s natural to see the curve skew one way or the other, but it’s rarely a very extreme skew.

Since a picture speaks a thousand words — here’s a standard normal distribution

If the world’s wealth was normally distributed, there’d be a concentration of 60 to 70% of wealth around a strong middle class, with the inevitable “haves” and “have-nots” going to the extremes. Sound’s awesome!

But the world’s wealth doesn’t follow a normal distribution, but something so skewed that it’s almost impossible to capture or be meaningful. It might be better to illustrate with a pyramid, or, 4 layered pyramids.

Here’s the first one, and it looks pretty bad. Here, we can see that people with more than $1 million of wealth, about 42 million of them or 0.8% of the world’s 5-billion strong adult population, hold 44.8% of the world’s wealth. One thing to remember is that there are hundreds of millions of people who have NEGATIVE wealth as a result of debt, so the true plight of the people is also lost amongst the pyramids.

Pyramid 1 — Global Wealth Pyramid (Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2018)

Spare your sympathy however, because what “>$1 million in wealth” really means will shock you! Let’s look at pyramid 2.

Pyramid 2 — The “Top” of the Pyramid

Spare a thought for those poor “single-digit” millionaires, who are frequently lumped in with the rest of the fat cats when The Occupy Movement are expressing their valid frustrations. They look like a big majority based on the number of them, but their individual financial clout is laughable. In the majority of cases, it simply means that you have no mortgage on your family home. You may say I’m talking crazy, but you haven’t seen what “>50 million” means! On to pyramid 3!

Pyramid 3 — Ultra Wealth by Tier (source: Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report 2017)

Here’s where it REALLY starts to get tasty. The above data from 2016 shows that ultra-wealthy people, the 0.0045%, hold 27 of the world’s 317 trillion dollars in wealth, or, just over 8.5% of all wealth. The reason I stress that this is 2016 data, is that it looks much worse in 2018! Onto pyramid 4, and what “$1bn+” means.

Pyramid 4 — Forbes Billionaire’s List Data (as applied to Wealth-X’s graphic template)

According to the Forbes Billionaire’s list, there were 2208 people on the list, with an average net worth of $4.1bn, and a total net worth of 9.1 trillion. This is how it looks in pyramid form.

In a world where Bitcoin is the monetary standard, wealth distribution will tend towards a normal distribution due to its finite nature. I would go so far as to say that Global Wealth could approach a normal distribution by the end of this century. Since Bitcoin is “the nature of money”, indeed, it is also the “life” and “energy” of money, it is only natural that it will mirror life and nature itself.

With a concentration of wealth around a strong middle class, and the necessity for the wealthy to continue to innovate and “work” to maintain their level of “monetised energy”, members of the population will necessarily move towards and away from the mean. “Work” could be anything that adds value to the market — being physical work, or capitalist pursuits. It also enables upward mobility — when the poor “work”, their energy is permanently conserved until it is again spent — no more dilution of wealth and systematised poverty.

Random acts of nature can also happen, such as losing your private keys, which can take you from 3 standard deviations to the right of the mean, to 3 standard deviations to the left! No one is safe from Nature. Which brings me to my final point…

You will not find Utopia in communism or socialism — the proposed wealth distribution curves offered by those ideologies violate natural laws, and are ultimately destined to be destroyed by Nature’s forces. “Capitalism-as-is” has also violated the laws of Nature by creating money out of nothing, and it too will be destroyed by Nature. Even a staunch Capitalist like myself would tell you that we’re living in more of an Orwellian Nightmare than a Utopia.

Utopia awaits in a Capitalist system powered by a Bitcoin Standard. It is known.


Many thanks to Victor Erem for proof-reading and editing

Bitcoin Evangelist. BEng MEngSc MBA

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store