Over 30% of mined BTC is inactive, and the exchange becomes the largest HODLer

As we all know, the total supply limit of Bitcoin is 21 million. The block reward is halved every four years, which means that the annual supply is halved, so as to achieve the effect of controlling inflation and avoiding artificial manipulation. However, with stable supply, how many bitcoins have been mined? Are all bitcoins mined active?


Image source: pixabay

The answer to the first question is simple. The number of bitcoins that have been mined is slightly higher than 18.29 million, accounting for more than 87% of the total supply, and the number of unmined is about 2.7 million. Bitcoin miners mine about 144 blocks per day, each block contains 12.5 bitcoins, that is, 1800 bitcoins are produced per day. Soon, by May, this number will drop by half.

Now, let ’s take a look at the second question. Are all bitcoins mined active? Well, although the first question tells us that 18.29 million bitcoins have been mined, this does not mean They are active and circulating.

According to data released by Unchained Capital on April 1, 2020, the HODL Wave index, which tracks Bitcoin's unspent transaction output (UTXO) in 2-3 years, has plummeted to below 15%, at 14.98%. This means that about 15% of the bitcoin that has been mined has been idle for 2-3 years.

This 15% is equivalent to 2.74 million bitcoins. If the market price at the time of publication is about 6600 US dollars, the total value will reach 18.08 billion US dollars.

According to data from Unchained Capital, from a shorter time frame, the proportion of bitcoins that have not moved in 18 to 24 months is 5.36%, and the proportion of bitcoins that have not moved in 12 to 18 months is 10.73%. The proportion within 6 to 12 months is 13.96%.

In such a long time span, almost one-sixth of the Bitcoins in circulation have not moved, so where are these Bitcoins stored? Although the Bitcoin address is the organic storage place of BTC, the exchange stores Bitcoin has accounted for a large proportion in the past few years.

Since the crypto market bull market in 2017 and the subsequent winter, many exchanges have been established, their services are also expanding, and the number of Bitcoin HODLers has also increased. Some crypto analysts call the exchanges the "largest HODLer" .


Bitcoin price and exchange wallet balance chart | Source: TokenAnalyst

So, how much bitcoin is hoarding on the exchange? The answer is roughly the same as the number of idle Bitcoins.

Ryan Radloff, CEO of CoinShares, described the number of Bitcoins on large exchanges in a blog post. According to his assessment, Coinbase is the largest "HODLer", storing 856,000 bitcoins. Other HODLer exchanges include Binance, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Huobi, Kraken and BitMEX.

Exchanges and other "intermediaries" (including Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust and BitMEX's Insurance Fund) hold 16.6% of the total amount of Bitcoin.

Therefore, as a whole, bitcoin that really circulates only accounts for a part. 87% of Bitcoin has been mined, 15% of which has been idle for 2-3 years, and 16% of Bitcoin has been stored on the exchange for a long time.