According to current data, about 2,086,034 bitcoins were held on exchanges as of July 11, 2023. This figure is 154,160 bitcoins less than the number held on centralized trading platforms 72 days earlier, on April 30. The number of bitcoins on exchanges has significantly dropped since July 31, 2020, when nearly 3 million bitcoins were held in exchange reserves.
Centralized Crypto Exchanges Face Bitcoin Drain
The number of bitcoins held in exchange reserves has steadily decreased over the past two years and 11 months, data from cryptoquant.com shows. On July 31, 2020, metrics indicated that 2,941,655 bitcoins were held on exchanges. As of today, the number has decreased to 2,086,034. This means that over the past 1,075 days, customers have removed 855,621 bitcoins from centralized trading platforms.
Since April 30, 2023, approximately 154,160 bitcoins have been removed from exchanges, which then held 2,240,194 bitcoins in reserves. Bitcoin reserve balance data from coinglass.com shows that Binance experienced a reduction of 18,566.71 bitcoins over the past 30 days. During the same period, Coinbase saw a withdrawal of 38,253.59 bitcoins, and OKX had about 9,403 bitcoins withdrawn. According to coinglass.com, the San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken had 8,544 bitcoins withdrawn in the past month.
When fewer bitcoins are available for purchase on exchanges, the principles of supply and demand typically suggest that if supply decreases and demand remains steady or increases, the price should rise. This has often been a self-fulfilling prophecy in the Bitcoin universe, as the perception of BTC becoming an increasingly scarce resource tends to drive the price up through supply squeezes. Moreover, in 289 days, following the halving event, the total supply of new bitcoins entering the market will significantly decrease.
The data also indicates that the remaining circulating supply of BTC not held by exchanges is managed by market makers, third-party custodians using cold storage services for institutional and high-net-worth clients, layer two (L2) solutions like Lightning Network, and numerous individuals utilizing self-custodial wallets in hot or cold wallet settings. Recent trends show a shift towards these alternatives over storing funds on exchanges. The collapse of platforms such as FTX and Voyager has only intensified the withdrawal of bitcoin from these businesses.
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