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Crypto exchanges are heavily losing Bitcoin, and they can't stop it

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By Jerry Walters - - 5 Mins Read
Bitcoin, chart background
Photo | Shutterstock


Bitcoin, chart background
Photo | Shutterstock

Lately, cryptocurrency exchanges are experiencing a significant reduction in the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) held on their platforms. This drop in Bitcoin supply is the lowest it has been in five years.


A growing concern regarding the trustworthiness of exchanges is the major motive behind the exodus, as they are being subjected to intense regulatory scrutiny. As a result, investors are opting to transfer their assets to more secure self-custody options.


According to data provided by Santiment, a leading on-chain and social metrics platform, the overall supply of Bitcoin on exchanges has plummeted to a mere 5.38%.


Santiment's data represents a significant downturn from the levels observed in December 2017 and indicates a consistent trend of investors moving their Bitcoin away from exchange platforms.

Factors Behind the Exodus

The diminishing confidence in crypto trading platforms stems from various regulatory pressures these exchanges have encountered recently.


Notably, regulatory actions against prominent exchanges like Binance and Kraken have accelerated this downward trend in Bitcoin exchange supply.


The recent settlement between Binance and U.S. regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit against Kraken has fueled a sense of unease among investors.


As a result, they are opting to transfer their holdings into self-custody solutions to safeguard their assets from potential exchange-related risks.


Impact on Bitcoin's Market Dynamics

The supply of Bitcoin on exchanges is decreasing while the ten largest exchange crypto wallets, especially those holding Tether (USDT), have experienced a surge and currently hold $15.23 billion.



This shift has increased exchange control to levels not observed in the last 17 months, indicating a transfer of power within the crypto market.


Bitcoin's price is currently at $38,240, with a 3.14% increase in the last 24 hours, a 4.24% gain over the past seven days, and a 10.67% rise in the last month. Despite declining supply on exchanges, the asset's market performance remains strong.

Shifting Dynamics and Regulatory Impact

The dwindling amount of Bitcoin on exchanges seems to align inversely with regulatory actions impacting major exchanges and their subsequent fallout.


Notably, the SEC's allegations against Coinbase for operating as an unregistered securities exchange in early June 2023 have also seemingly contributed to the ongoing trend of decreasing Bitcoin supply on exchanges.

Institutional Interest and Developmental Factors

On a broader scale, factors such as BlackRock's recent application for a spot Bitcoin ETF and the EDX Markets crypto exchange launch have influenced institutional interest in Bitcoin.


These developments have ignited discussions among financial giants, prompting reconsideration of their Bitcoin ETF applications with the SEC.


The potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF would allow investors to leverage Bitcoin's price movements, potentially amplifying their returns and fostering renewed confidence in the cryptocurrency.


Consequently, this resurgence in optimism and institutional interest has contributed to sustaining Bitcoin's price above the $38,240 threshold.


Bitcoin Exodus: A Sign of Shifting Trends

Bitcoin supply on exchanges is declining, indicating a shift in investor behavior towards self-custody solutions.


Since investors seek greater control over their assets, a massive migration of Bitcoin holdings to alternative storage options has become necessary.

As Bitcoin is moved in alarming quantities away from exchanges, it reflects in the increasing number of wallet addresses acquiring substantial amounts of Bitcoin, totalling approximately 910,000 coins across 1.84 million wallets.