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Bitcoin Exchange Reserves Plummet To Multi-Year Lows, Under 2 Million Left: CryptoQuant

Andrew Throuvalas
Last updated: | 1 min read
A round, colosseum-like building with a big Bitcoin on its roof.

On-chain data suggests that less Bitcoin (BTC) is sitting on crypto exchanges than ever within the past six years. According to CryptoQuant’s Bitcoin Exchange Reserve dashboard, balances on such platforms dwindled to just 1,945,051 BTC as of April 2, 2024.

By comparison, Bitcoin exchange reserves stood at 2,087,030 BTC at the start of the year, with their aggregate balance declining by 90,700 BTC ($6.2 billion) in the past month alone.

Bitcoin Exchange Reserves Plummet

While outflows have picked up recently, they’re hardly a new trend. Bitcoin reserves in exchanges have steadily dropped since November 2022, when a bank run on FTX exposed the company as a fraud, and crypto investors worldwide fled to the safety of personal crypto wallets.

Data from Glassnode suggests that a much higher amount of Bitcoin – 2.31 million BTC – still sits on exchanges today. Exact figures can differ depending on which addresses each platform has identified as belonging to a crypto exchange.

Glassnode’s dashboard reflects the same long-term trend as CryptoQuant’s, however. Current balances are at their lowest point since April 2018, down from their all-time high of 3.2 million BTC in March 2020.

Broken down by each company, data from Coinglass shows that Binance holds more Bitcoin than all exchanges at 538,750 BTC. Bitfinex, Coinbase, and Gemini are the next largest, controlling 372,000 BTC, 292,000 BTC, and 133,000 BTC respectively.

Market analysts generally view dwindling exchange balances as a bullish sign since they mean the network’s liquid supply of BTC is declining. Fewer coins readily available for sale means a demand spike could lead to higher prices.

Since the start of the year, Bitcoin’s price has risen by over 50% to $67,499.

Impact Of The Bitcoin ETFs

On-chain data also suggests that the supply of Bitcoin on OTC desks has come down in the past several months. Since January 11, a primary source of OTC demand for Bitcoin has stemmed from U.S. Bitcoin spot ETFs, which have absorbed $12 billion in flows since going live.

The ETFs now hold over 827,000 BTC, making them a major share of Bitcoin’s global spot market. Some analysts have claimed that their launch could hurt business at traditional Bitcoin exchanges, such as Coinbase.