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Author Topic: Need help with Bitcoin research  (Read 672 times)
markajansen
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March 08, 2012, 07:58:55 AM
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For my master's thesis I will research bitcoin. I plan to analyze the distribution of wealth (bitcoins) among existing adresses. I think it is interesting to see whether the bitcoin economy has a different of similar distribution from the fiat money economy, where 1% of people owns 99% of wealth (power law, long tail).

However, I need some help with getting the data, for example from http://blockexplorer.com/. Who can help me with this?
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draco49
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March 08, 2012, 08:16:46 AM
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For your purposes, blockchain.info would probably provide you easier access to the data you are looking for.

As for the current distributions of bitcoin wealth, you're going to have a very difficult time accurately assessing this in any sort of meaningful way.  Unlike bank accounts, tax returns, and other methods of identifying and correlating wealth distribution, bitcoin addresses and coin movement change constantly.  Even amongst one person, bitcoins move from one address to another as new addresses are frequently generated by the users actions, and during the transaction process.

Another thing to consider is that, given the novelty of bitcoin and its mechanisms, comparing it to long-established, state-sponsored currencies is not comparing apples to apples.

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julz
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March 08, 2012, 08:55:27 AM
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Given that an individual's bitcoin wealth could be spread among numerous addresses, and also that numerous individual's bitcoin wealth could be pooled in single addresses (e.g cold storage wallet of an exchange or other service)..  I don't see how one could glean any real insight into the wealth distribution by examining the blockchain.


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March 08, 2012, 12:28:05 PM
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I suggest you see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FaQNPCqG58
where a couple of researchers show a lot of what you can analyse from the blockchain.
Your answer might even be in there somewhere.

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payb.tc
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March 08, 2012, 01:01:00 PM
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where's phinnaeus gage when you need him... he's always talking about 'researching'.
markajansen
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March 08, 2012, 02:23:18 PM
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thanks for your help so far.

I know that adresses cannot be directly linked to persons and that someone can have multiple adresses. But, if I understand correctly it is possible to see how many Bitcoins were held by any adress at certain points in time, also in the past?
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