Bitcoin's Blockchain Data Offers Evidence of Continued Investor HODLing During Bear Market

The percentage of bitcoin UTXOs older than five years has surged in the past six months, indicating that some investors held on to their coin stash during the bear market.

AccessTimeIconFeb 1, 2023 at 7:19 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 1, 2023 at 4:07 p.m. UTC

If you have been following Crypto Twitter for some time, you have probably seen several tweets claiming continued bitcoin (BTC) holding by some investors during last year's bear market. Now we have the evidence.

  • Bitcoin's HODL Waves indicator created by Unchain Capital and tracked by Glassnode shows that the percentage of unspent transaction outputs (UTXO) older than five years has increased by 17% in the past six months.
  • The HODL Waves indicator tracks the UTXO age distribution. UTXO is the amount of cryptocurrency someone has after executing a transaction. Every BTC transaction creates a UTXO. Its age indicates the block it was first included in and the last time the said bitcoin was moved.
  • So the latest sharp rise in the percentage of UTXOs older than five years indicates aging of unspent outputs, a sign of some investors maintaining their coin stash during the market swoon.
  • Joe Burnett, head analyst at Blockware Solutions, called the aging of UTXOs a bullish development, in response to a tweet by Capriole's founder Charles Edwards referring to the UTXO data as proof of long-term holders accumulating coins at the fastest pace in eight years.
  • Bitcoin traded near $23,100 at press time, having rallied nearly 40% last month, per CoinDesk data.
Each colored band shows the percentage of bitcoin in existence that was last moved within the time period denoted in the legend. (Glassnode)
Each colored band shows the percentage of bitcoin in existence that was last moved within the time period denoted in the legend. (Glassnode)

UPDATE (Feb. 1, 2023, 11:05 UTC): Updates headline for clarity.

CORRECTION (Feb. 1, 16:06 UTC): Corrects spelling of Joe Burnett's name and title of Capriole's Charles Edwards.


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.