Over 200,000 Bitcoin Moved Out of Long-Term Storage Since November

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In Brief
  • Almost $4 billion worth of bitcoin in long-term storage was moved on-chain in Nov 2020.

  • Almost 200,000 BTC placed into storage between 2013 and 2015 has now become active again

  • The data however, shows that the proportion of bitcoin HODLers is actually increasing.

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Approximately $4 billion worth of bitcoin which had been inactive for between five and seven years was moved out of long-term storage following November’s massive price rally.

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Unchained Capital revealed the news via a data visualization on Dec 3. Unchained’s ‘HODL Waves’ metric measures the activity of bitcoin by the length of storage. The total share of the bitcoin supply locked in storage between five and seven years fell from 5.48% to 4.67% between Nov 1 and Nov 30.

Some Long-Term Investors Take Profit

Investors who locked their coins into storage in 2013 did so at a price level that averaged between $134 and $1,151. In 2014 and 2015, the price averaged between $500 and $750.

With bitcoin closing at $18,702 on Nov 30, long-term investors would have made anywhere between 1524% and 13,856%.

Bitcoin all-time price chart | Source: TradingView

According to the HODL Waves calculation, 1.19% of the bitcoin total supply left this storage category and became active on-chain.

Given the current total supply of ~18,561,000 BTC at press time, this represents more than 220,000 BTC, currently worth approximately $4.2 billion.

Bitcoin HODLers Not Relenting

The data reveals a mix of long-term strategies. The vast majority of long-term investors are not only holding, but also increasing their holdings.

Whereas the previous five to seven year long-term storage category fell more than 1%, the over ten-year storage category actually rose 0.19% from 9.73% to 9.92%.

The long-term storage category between seven and ten years also rose 0.2% from 7.08% to 7.28%. Similarly, the three to five year storage category jumped 0.69% from 10.06% to 10.85%.

In fact, the data shows that it’s mostly the shorter-term storage categories that witnessed holding declines. Overall, more than 61% of bitcoin’s total supply has not moved at all in more than a year.

This data, some argue, would seem to validate the position that bitcoin could be viewed more as a store of value asset and an inflation hedge versus just a speculative instrument.

On Nov 19, BeInCrypto reported that Glassnode data had revealed a huge surge in creation of new bitcoin addresses, only bettered in January of 2018.

On-chain analyst Willy Woo predicted that bitcoin’s Network Value Transaction Ratio (NVT) all-time high in mid-November was driven by the presence of “underlying long term investors.” This he said, would drive bitcoin to a new all time high, which subsequently took place on Nov 30.

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David is a journalist, writer and broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, The Africa Report, The New Yorker Magazine and The Washington Post. His work as a satirist on 'The Other News,' Nigeria's answer to The Daily Show has featured in the New Yorker Magazine and in the Netflix documentary 'Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy.' In 2018, he was nominated by the US State Department for the 2019 Edward Murrow program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). He tweets at @DavidHundeyin

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