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As fears of contagion and counterparty risk have gripped the bitcoin/crypto space, June quietly was the largest month of net withdrawals in recorded history for bitcoin, with a peak 30-day net change of 152,446 BTC leaving exchanges during the 30 days that proceeded June 26. The end-of-month total for June was smaller, but still extremely noteworthy at 123,652 BTC departing exchanges on a net basis over the month.
While these monthly outflows were a record in bitcoin terms, in dollar terms it was not, with April and September 2021 along with April of 2022 boasting larger amounts of net outflows in dollar terms. While it is insightful to denote figures in both dollar and bitcoin terms, we prefer to use bitcoin terms to keep measurement consistent across time periods.
Shown below is the aggregate amount of bitcoin held across exchanges (Binance, Bitfinex, Bithumb, BitMEX, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Coinbase, Coincheck, Crypto.com, FTX, Gate.io, Gemini, HitBTC, Huobi, Kraken, KuCoin, Luno, OKEx, Poloniex).
The total amount of bitcoin across these exchanges at the time of writing is 2,400,178 BTC, equating to $49.35 billion and approximately 12.58% of circulating supply.
Although exchange balances don’t necessarily correlate directly with the exchange rate, it can be insightful to monitor ongoing trends, specifically when the trend greatly shifts, with March 2020 serving as a great example.
Final Note on Exchange Balances
It will be interesting to see if the trend of decreasing exchange balances accelerates given the vast amount of counterparty risk that the crypto industry was exposed to over recent months.