Less than 12% of the current Bitcoin (BTC) supply is held by exchanges, the lowest level since January 2018, according to data analyzed by Glassnode. crypto slate.
The chart below shows BTC balances held on exchanges by the orange line, starting in January 2018 when balances were just above 10.8%.
The exchange’s BTC reserves grew exponentially between January 2018 and January 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. In January 2020, exchanges held nearly 18% of all BTC supply. After that peak, the amount of BTC held on exchanges began to shrink steadily, dropping to 12% of what it is today.
coinbase and binance
Two major exchanges, Coinbase and Binance, together account for 5.5% of the 12% held on exchanges.
The Coinbase name has made headlines over the past two months for shrinking its BTC reserves. The chart below shows Coinbase’s BTC reserves since mid-September, showing two sharp declines.
About 50,000 BTC were withdrawn from the exchange on October 18th. The incident was the first large withdrawal since June 2022. At the time, Coinbase held around 525,000 BTC in reserves, which is 22% less than at the beginning of the year.
Coinbase recorded another hefty withdrawal worth more than $3.5 billion between November 23rd and November 27th, driving the exchange’s reserves to new lows. Despite these, Coinbase still holds around 2.52% of the total BTC supply.
Binance’s BTC reserves, on the other hand, did not shrink as steadily as Coinbase’s. Coinbase recorded massive withdrawals on Oct 18 and Nov 23-27, while Binance is accumulating BTC.
Binance’s BTC reserves only recorded a sharp decline between November 7th and November 14th. However, Binance quickly recovered his previous BTC number and surpassed it to account for about 3.40% of total supply.
Binance’s BTC holdings remain at 3.40% when it dipped below 3.20% in recent events.
Ancient Owners and Exchanges
The data also shows that the “ancient” wallet holds around 2.6 million BTC, while all exchanges hold around 2.3 million.
The term “ancient” refers to addresses that hold BTC and were last active more than a decade ago. The chart below shows the total BTC balance as a blue line and the exchange balance as an orange line.
The chart has started before 2010. Since then, the total reserves of ancient holders have fallen below the total reserves of the exchange. In November 2022, ancient holders surpassed exchanges for the first time when FTX collapsed.