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Bitcoin

Number of ‘Wholecoiners’ Drops as Whales Dump Bitcoin

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 03: In this photo illustration, a visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is displayed on April 03, 2019 in Paris, France. Bitcoin is an electronic money that has seen an incredible increase in 2017, its price has reached 20,000 euros. But, while cryptocurrency has been trading for some months around 3200 to 3500 euros, it has risen to 5000 euros since yesterday. According to one analyst, this move would be linked to a single buyer who would have passed a colossal order to make up the course. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

In brief

  • The number of addresses holding at least one whole Bitcoin is down following a sell-off earlier this week.
  • It’s not a huge drop-off; the total number of so-called “wholecoiners” is still over 820,000.
  • Those accounts represent the vast majority of total mined Bitcoin, with over $300 billion.

The number of addresses holding at least one whole Bitcoin dropped by nearly 1,000 yesterday as whales dumped their assets in the wake of a sell-off earlier this week.

It’s most likely a reflection of Bitcoin’s dropping from about $18,700 to about $17,100 on the night of November 25.

That crash may have been prompted when OKEx resumed withdrawals after its founder was released from custody and when $1.3 billion in Bitcoin options expired yesterday. Bitcoin’s current price is $17,356.

Data from analytics company Glassnode suggests that the total number of so-called “wholecoiners” is roughly correlated to price, in that the dips and rises tend to line up, but that on the whole, the number of wholecoiners fluctuates far less.



You can see that most clearly during the Bitcoin explosion of 2017, as the price increased exponentially, and the number of people holding over one Bitcoin increased to a lesser extent.

The graphs don’t always line up: when prices declined in 2014, for example, more and more addresses leapt over the 1 BTC mark. And in September of this year, the number of addresses holding at least that much Bitcoin dropped by almost 15,000, despite relative stability in the price.

But looked at broadly, the number of wholecoiners has followed a slow, upward trajectory from 2009, when Bitcoin was first introduced, to now, in 2020.

This number represents a decent chunk of the more than 32 million addresses that hold a nonzero value in Bitcoin, and the vast majority of Bitcoin’s market cap.

Together, wholecoiners are responsible for over $300 billion of the total $320 billion that’s out there.

Bitcoin prices rise and fall, but traders’ cumulative wealth keeps climbing; despite the recent hiccup, the number of addresses holding at least one whole Bitcoin is still hovering around 820,000

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