Bitcoin Held in Exchange Wallets Rising at Pace of $1.16B a Month, Data Show

The inflow comes as bitcoin has gained 7% this month, extending October's 28% rally.

AccessTimeIconNov 20, 2023 at 7:02 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) stashed in wallets tied to centralized cryptocurrency exchanges is rising at the fastest pace since May, hinting at a potential bull pause in the market.

Blockchain analytics firm Glassnode's bitcoin exchange net position change metric, which measures the number of coins held by exchange wallets on a specific date compared to the same date four weeks ago, rose to 31,382.43 BTC ($1.16 billion) on Sunday, the highest since May 11, 2023. That has lifted the total balance held on exchanges to 2.35 million BTC.

An inflow into exchange wallets is widely taken to represent investors' intention to liquidate their holdings, a potential selling pressure, or deploy coins as a margin in futures and options markets. Meanwhile, an outflow represents accumulation.

BTC exchange net position change vs BTC's price since 2020. (Glassnode)
BTC exchange net position change vs BTC's price since 2020. (Glassnode) (Glassnode)

The BTC exchange net position change has been consistently positive since Nov. 1. Historically, such periods have coincided with bull market breathers or price pullbacks.

That said, the latest inflow could also signify renewed investor confidence in centralized exchanges.

The safety of coins held in exchange wallets came into question late last year after Sam Bankman Fried's FTX exchange collapsed, which, at the time, was the third largest. That saw investors move coins off exchanges and into their direct custody.

Bitcoin changed hands at $37,170 at press time, according to CoinDesk Indices data, having put in a high of $31,517 late Sunday, supposedly on the back of BTC-supportive Javier Milei's victory in Argentina's Presidential elections.

The leading cryptocurrency by market value has gained 7.5% this month, extending October's 28% rise, CoinDesk data show.

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Edited by Sam Reynolds.


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Omkar Godbole

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