- Roughly 10.5 million BTC has been locked up in wallets by crypto holders since 2018
- Big whales may be saving the coins for another bull market
While there are about 17.71 million bitcoins (BTC) currently in existence, a new report by Altcoin Magazine on May 20, 2019, citing Bitinfocharts, has revealed that about 10.5 million bitcoin out of the total issued coins were not used for any form of transaction in the past year, leaving only 7 million BTC in circulation in 2018.
- According to Bitinfocharts, 2.4 million BTC has not been in circulation since the beginning of 2012, a figure that represents the most cautious estimate of the total number of coins that may be out of circulation forever due to one reason or the other.
- In the same vein, nearly 5 million have been lying dormant in the wallets of a vast majority of ‘hodlers’ for the last three years.
As such, the exact number of bitcoins available for sale may be far less than some analysts and crypto enthusiasts are inclined to consider.
- Other statistics on the site also shows that over the past 24 hours, the volume of bitcoin transactions amounted to 924,805 ($7 billion), though the daily volume on CoinMarketCap differs significantly, at $22.56 billion.
Notably, other established digital assets, including those oriented to the execution of payment functions, do not have as much trading volume as bitcoin.
- According to the statistics, bitcoin cash (BCH) could only manage a trading volume of $1.7 billion, a far cry from the daily average transaction volume of centralized payments platforms such as Mastercard and Visa.
Whales Accumulating the Coins?
While bitcoin is definitely a viable digital asset for payments and a store of value, the increasing value of the flagship cryptocurrency has made some people buy BTC for speculative purposes and hold on to it as long as they can, in anticipation for another price surge.
In the same vein, it is also possible that institutional investors, as well as big whales steeped in the workings of bitcoin, saw the crypto winter of last year as a golden opportunity to amass “cheap” bitcoin which will later be invested in Bakkt’s physically delivered bitcoin futures contracts or Fidelity’s bitcoin trading service.
At press time, the price of bitcoin (BTC) sits at $7,902, with a market cap of $139.98 billion, as seen on CoinMarketCap.
With the bulls clearly in charge of the markets, it’s most likely that bitcoin investors will firmly hold onto their assets, in a bid to earn massive profits on their holdings.