Bitcoin exchanges now hold the same BTC supply share as in late 2017

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin (BTC) held on exchanges is down to where it was at the 2017 BTC price all-time high, data confirms.

Tracked by on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, the latest figures show less than 12% of the BTC supply now resides in exchange wallets.

Analyst: BTC price “on the cusp of true price discovery”

Bitcoin returned to exchanges during the 2023 BTC price upside, during which BTC/USD more than doubled from cycle lows.

The period since late April has seen a reversion to the long-term trend of coins leaving exchanges, however, and this month, it hit a milestone.

As of July 10, 11.59% of the available BTC supply currently lies in known exchange wallets labeled by Glassnode. The number has not been this low since mid-December 2017 — when Bitcoin hit its previous all-time high of $20,000.

Bitcoin Percent Balance on Exchanges chart. Source: Glassnode

“Only 11.5% of Bitcoin supply left on exchanges, lowest in over 5 years,” William Clemente, co-founder of crypto analysis firm Reflexivity Research, commented.

In BTC terms, exchange balances are back to where they were in March 2018, with known wallets holding a total of 2.252 million BTC as of July 10.

Bitcoin Balance on Exchanges chart. Source: Glassnode

Taking Coinbase as an example, Joe Burnett, head analyst at mining firm Blockware, noted that BTC balances had more than halved since the March 2020 cross-market crash.

“The exchanges are being drained,” he concluded in part of recent Twitter commentary, adding that he considered Bitcoin as “on the cusp of true price discovery.”

Coinbase BTC balance chart. Source: Joe Burnett/Twitter

Bitcoin whales on the increase

As Cointelegraph reported, expectations of a BTC price squeeze coming as a result of declining supply and increasing buyer demand have risen in step with expectations that the United States may soon approve a Bitcoin spot price exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Related: Bitcoin supply shock will send BTC price to $120K — Standard Chartered

Other advancements, notably artificial intelligence (AI), should produce a similar effect over time, some argue.

Decreasing exchange balances meanwhile continue as the number of Bitcoin whale entities — those with the largest wallet balances outside exchanges — see an uptick.

Around 40 new whales have appeared since late April, and on July 7, their numbers hit their highest since the FTX meltdown in November last year.

Bitcoin Number of Entities With Balance over 1,000 BTC chart. Source: Glassnode

A curious exception to the exchange outflow trend comes in the form of mining pool Poolin, which continues to send vast tranches of BTC to Binance.

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