Going long: 270K Bitcoin moved into storage in a month

Despite surging prices, Bitcoin investors are rapidly locking up their BTC for the long-term, with 270,000 BTC being taken out of liquid supply in the last 30 days.

According to data published by crypto market data aggregator Glassnode, “liquid” Bitcoin wallets have shed 270,000 BTC over the past month, up from 175,000 Bitcoin at the start of January.

Bitcoin Monthly Liquid Supply Change. Source: Glassnode

The data shows that Bitcoin’s (BTC) liquid supply has consistently fallen over the last nine months, with liquid supply currently sitting at 21.3% and showing no signs of reversing.

Bitcoin’s increasingly illiquid supply could be bullish for its price, with new retail and institutional traders vying for an increasingly diminishing supply. Glassnode estimates that nearly 80% of the 18.6 million circulating Bitcoin are currently stored in “illiquid” wallets.

According to Glassnode, a Bitcoin wallet is considered illiquid if less than 25% of the Bitcoin received has been transferred out across the entity’s life. In contrast, to be deemed highly liquid, the majority of Bitcoin must be transferred back into circulation, with less than 25% of the inflows held onto.

Bitcoin liquidity supply. Source: Glassnode

Of the 3.9 million BTC Glassnode describes as being highly liquid, 61% or 2.38 million is held by centralized exchanges. Their balances have also been dropping, with data from analytics firm CryptoQuant indicating exchanges’ reserves have shrunk by 13.8% since July.

Increasing institutional investment may be a significant force driving the depletion of Bitcoin’s liquid supply, with wallet tracking service Bitcoin Treasuries currently estimates that 33 institutional entities have accumulated more than 1.2 million BTC or 6.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

In the last few days, Grayscale has increased its holdings by approximately 25,000 BTC with a portfolio of 641,523.7 BTC as of January 20, 2021. To put this in perspective, approximately 900 Bitcoin are minted each day. According to Glassnode, however, on average only one-third of those are actually being sent to exchanges since July 2020.

Data from Investment firm SwissBorg shows that in the second half of 2020, institutional investors purchased on average more than 230% of the newly minted BTC. Adding in the purchases from PayPal and Square (along with the estimated amount of Bitcoin lost each day) demand could be running as high as 500% of the new supply.

Earlier today, the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock filed with the SEC, listing Bitcoin Derivatives as a possible investment. The firm entered 2021 with $7.81 trillion in assets under management, more than seven times crypto’s entire market cap.