In glad tidings for an orange Christmas, Bitcoin (BTC) supply is drying up to lows not seen for years. In a recent tweet by CryptoRank, just 6.3% of the total Bitcoin supply, or 1.3 million BTC, is held on cryptocurrency exchanges.
The decreasing supply is nothing new, trending down since the Bitcoin halving in 2020 when the BTC block reward was cut in two. BTC availability on exchanges followed suit, slowly trending down over the past year. Exchange wallets accounted for 9.5% of the BTC supply in October 2020, just before the 2020 Christmas all-time highs, and 7.3% in July this year. The 6.3% December figure is the lowest recorded in 2021.
The news follows a swathe of positive price metrics that dovetail the upward price action of Bitcoin. Firstly, the illiquid BTC supply has iced over for the winter as the BTC supply going from a “liquid” to an “illiquid” state is now 100,000 BTC per month. In essence, more BTC is locked away into cold storage than the amount being mined.
Unsurprisingly, Binance CEO and co-founder Changpeng Zhao has encouraged the hot wallet practice, despite the best efforts of Bitcoiners like Andreas Antonopolous ensuring ‘not your keys, not your Bitcoin’ is part of everyday BTC mantra.
As a result, while 1.3 million BTC rests on exchanges, they may not be ‘circulating’, and may in fact contribute to the illiquid supply.