Bitcoin prices have regained momentum during the last two days as the price per coin touched a March 2021 high at $54,822 on Tuesday morning (ET). Back in December 2020, it was noted that bitcoin on exchanges dropped to a three-year low and this year bitcoin exchange balances continue to plummet. A whopping 189,000 bitcoin was withdrawn from the top five leading cryptocurrency exchanges since October 2020.
The price of bitcoin (BTC) is doing well this week and at the time of writing, the leading crypto asset is currently exchanging hands for $53,820 per coin. Last week, the price was much lower hitting a low of $43,171 per unit on Bitstamp on February 28. Meanwhile, onchain data shows that bitcoin exchange balances held on popular trading platforms are continuing to deplete.
On March 7, the sophomore finance major, William Clemente III tweeted about bitcoin balances on exchanges taking another dive. Clemente shared a chart from the onchain crypto analysis web portal Glassnode.
— William Clemente III (@WClementeIII) March 7, 2021
The onchain analysis aggregator Glassnode stats show that popular trading exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Huobi, and many other platforms lost 20% of bitcoin balances during the last 12 months. As usual, bitcoiners believe that the data suggests investors are accumulating, rather than selling the bitcoin on exchanges. For instance, news.Bitcoin.com noted that exchange balances were sinking in December 2020 and draining in October 2020 as well. On October 16, 2020, our newsdesk reported that 187,000 BTC had been withdrawn by customers since June 2020.
144 days ago in mid-October, Coinbase was the leading exchange with the most bitcoin under the hood, and still is the leader to this day. At the time, however, Coinbase held 908k BTC and today, stats show Coinbase only holds 870k BTC. That’s 34,000 BTC that’s left the San Francisco exchange in the last 21 weeks. This was also after the exchange saw 36,000 BTC in withdrawals leave Coinbase since June 2020.
At that time, Huobi Global was the second-largest holder, in terms of crypto exchange balances. However, today Huobi has been pushed down to the third position and replaced by Binance. Huobi had 345k in BTC, but approximately 93,000 bitcoin left the exchange since then. The top five cryptocurrency trading platforms, in terms of transparent bitcoin balance rank, are pictured in the screenshot below. Exchange Balance Rank data stems from the Bituniverse exchange market statistics.
Binance is now the second-largest holder in terms of crypto exchange balances of BTC, according to a combination of Bituniverse, Peckshield, Chain.info, and Etherscan statistics. The exchange currently holds a supply of 215,000 BTC at the time of publication, but four months ago, Binance held 266k BTC as it lost 51,000 BTC to customer withdrawals.
Back then, the San Francisco exchange Kraken was the seventh-largest bitcoin exchange balance holder and today, Kraken has captured the fourth position. Today Kraken holds 137,000+ bitcoin in reserves, but four months ago that aggregate number was 132k BTC. It means that Kraken has gained some lead in the bitcoin exchange balance race since October of last year.
The fifth positioned top BTC holding exchange is Okex and the trading platform held the fifth spot back in October 2020 as well. Still, back then Okex had 198,000 BTC in reserves and it now holds 187,000 BTC. This means 11,000 BTC has been withdrawn from Okex since October 16, 2020. Bitmex saw 3,000 BTC withdrawn since our last study on the significant exchange withdrawals taking place during the last year.
The combination of BTC exchange balance data indicates that since mid-October, the top five leading exchanges lost 189,000 BTC or more than $10 billion using today’s bitcoin (BTC) exchange rates. The stats can be seen leveraging Glassnode’s BTC exchange balance data and by looking at individual exchanges using Bituniverse’s Exchange Balance Rank.
Billions of dollars in bitcoin leaving centralized cryptocurrency exchanges suggests that people want to keep their coins safe in a noncustodial fashion and to many observers, it also means they don’t want to sell those coins in the short-term.
What do you think about the depleting bitcoin exchange balances and the top five exchanges losing 189,000 bitcoin to customer withdrawals? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.