First Mover Asia: Individual Wallets Holding 1 Bitcoin Hit All-Time High as BTC Maintains $30K

PLUS: Binance.US has a free money problem, but there's not enough trust in the platform to exploit it.

AccessTimeIconJul 11, 2023 at 1:01 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 11, 2023 at 1:07 a.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin continues to show healthy signs of decentralization, even as it has liquidity issues.

Insights: A lack of dollar liquidity means some weird things are happening on Binance.US.


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Bitcoin's Decentralization is Alive and Well as it Maintains $30K Mark

Bitcoin is opening the Tuesday trading day in Asia at $30,366, maintaining a strong presence above $30K.

While the trading volume and market movements have been fairly flat over the last few days, as the market continues its struggle with liquidity, bitcoin has recently passed a symbolic milestone.

The number of wallets holding at least one bitcoin has reached an all-time high of 1,008,737 million, according to data from Glassnode.

This increased distribution of wallets with at least one bitcoin suggests increased decentralization of the network. Meanwhile, Glassnode’s data shows that the number of whales is also decreasing.

The number of wallets holding at least one bitcoin first crossed the million mark in May and has been rising since.


All this comes as the popularity of ordinals increases the load on the Bitcoin network.

A number of metrics are showing increased activity, from an uptick in miners transferring coins to exchanges to the number of addresses with a balance greater than 0.1.


Bitcoin’s next big moves will likely come later this week as jobless claims and CPI data are released, both of which will indicate how successful the Fed’s moves at taming inflation are – data that traders zoom in on when making their next moves.

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Binance.US Has a Free Money Problem

Binance.US was always meant to be the fiat pipeline for U.S. nationals wanting to use Binance. But as of last month, it’s having trouble fulfilling that role as its fiat pipelines are suspended.

With no fiat liquidity, this has put the exchange in a weird place. Bitcoin is trading at a discount of 9%, as is Tether (USDT); the world’s biggest dollar-pegged stablecoin is trading at a nearly 9-cent discount from other exchanges.

Examples of Tether trades on Binance.US (Binance.US)
Examples of Tether trades on Binance.US (Binance.US)

The exchange’s market depth or traders’ ability to execute large orders at stable prices has also deteriorated significantly in recent months, aiding wild price action.

Data from research group Kaiko shows that market depth has collapsed on Binance.US, with an over 60% drop in liquidity available on the platform in June.

Adrian Wang, founder, and CEO at digital assets wealth management firm Metalpha, points to the looming withdrawal deadline of July 20 as a reason for the depegging.

“As the days approach this deadline, lesser liquidity and lesser banks to exchange fiat means that we may see this de-peg continue,” he told CoinDesk.

Example of current market prices at Binance.US (Binance.US)
Example of current market prices at Binance.US (Binance.US)

An easy trade right now is to buy USDT at a discount on Binance.US and move it elsewhere to trade with. But it just can’t involve fiat ramps – the bread and butter of most of Binance.US’ users.

“I think there might be some arbitrage opportunities for institutions or market makers, but retail traders wouldn’t likely have the risk tolerance or understanding,” Nick Ruck, COO of DeFi protocol ContentFi Labs said to CoinDesk in a note.

Certainly, many have been doing this to enjoy free money; in the last week the exchange has had a netflow of negative $16.2 million, according to data.

Although some have said such a trade is not worth the risk.

But the question is, why hasn’t this resolved itself? Why hasn’t it either brought down Tether’s overall value, or pushed back up the value of USDT on Binance.US?

“Compared with the total circulation of USDT, the selling volume is not enough to affect the overall market price in the end,” Tony Ling, co-founder of data portal NFTGo, and a partner at Bizantine Capital, told CoinDesk. “There have been more serious price deviations before, and nothing happened in the end.”

For now, enjoy the free money.

This article was written and edited by CoinDesk journalists with the sole purpose of informing the reader with accurate information. If you click on a link from Glassnode, CoinDesk may earn a commission. For more, see our Ethics Policy.

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Disclaimer: This article was written and edited by CoinDesk journalists with the sole purpose of informing the reader with accurate information. If you click on a link from Glassnode, CoinDesk may earn a commission. For more, see our Ethics Policy.

Edited by James Rubin.


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