Long-Term Bitcoin Holders Shed 200k BTC: Here’s What It Means

After reaching $52,000 within a span of two years, Bitcoin seems to have encountered a barrier. It’s currently trading below this significant psychological threshold, but overall, the sentiment remains optimistic.

Recent data indicates a characteristic pattern of behavior seen in bullish market holders.

‘Typical Hodler Behavior’

Long-term holders of Bitcoin have collectively sold about 200,000 BTC from their stash since the start of the year. This selling trend has persisted for nearly three months, with their balances consistently decreasing during this period.

According to IntoTheBlock’s latest analysis, this is “typical hodler activity” during bull runs since such behavior is considered typical among “hodlers,” or long-term holders, in similar market conditions.

Comparing this current trend to the previous bull market, there’s a notable difference in the rate of decrease in Bitcoin holdings among investors. During the last one, holders reduced their BTC balances by approximately 15%. However, in the current scenario, the decrease amounts to only around 1.5%.

Bitcoin Holders’ Balance. Source: IntoTheBlock

This suggests that while long-term holders are still selling some of their Bitcoin, they are doing so at a much slower pace compared to the previous bull market, indicating a potentially more cautious approach amidst the current conditions.

The selling has been offset by the tremendous accumulation by various cohorts of investors. According to Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant, Bitcoin inflows into accumulation addresses have surged to an all-time high of 25,300 BTC.

These addresses, which exhibit certain characteristics such as no outgoing transactions, holding a balance exceeding 10 BTC, and consistent activity over seven years, suggest a strategic effort by major holders to accumulate Bitcoin well in advance of anticipated price increases rather than waiting until market peaks.

Bitcoin Exchange Balances Hit 2018 Lows

Since mid-March 2020, there’s been a significant drop in Bitcoin held on exchanges, indicating a shift in investor behavior. Initially, over 17% of Bitcoin’s supply was on trading platforms, a record high. This decline persisted through Bitcoin’s 2021 bull run, peaking at $69,000 in November.

In 2024, Glassnode data revealed a continual decrease in exchange-held Bitcoin. From January 1st to February 19th, BTC on trading platforms fell from 2.356 million BTC to 2.314 million, the lowest since April 2018. As a result, the percentage of Bitcoin’s supply on exchanges decreased from 12.03% to 11.79% YTD.

Earlier this week, whales moved over 18,000 BTC, estimated to be worth around $1 billion, from Coinbase to multiple non-exchange addresses, speculated to be custodial wallets.

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