In 2019, the bitcoins that were not moved were 10.7 million, or almost $97 billion.
Given that a total of almost 18.2 million BTC have been created, it means that almost 60% of all bitcoins in circulation in the last 12 months have not been used.
This is what the analysis company Digital Asset Data revealed, whereas another research by Delphi Digital in November revealed that more than 21% of the bitcoins in circulation, equivalent to 3.8 million BTC, had been idle for five years, while 38.7% had not been moved in the last 24 months.
In fact, the percentage of BTC not used in the last 12 months was 55.6% at the beginning of 2019, then rose to 60.8% in April, while at the end of the year it stood at 58.3%.
The fact that these bitcoins which have not been moved in the last 12 months are significantly more than those which have been moved, suggests that the so-called holders (or hodlers) are currently dominating the market, indicating that they are holding their BTC firmly in the hope that their value will grow in the future.
It also means that short-term fluctuations in bitcoin prices are more heavily influenced by traders and those in the trading market with short-term time horizons, while the impact of the holders themselves is less significant.
However, during 2019 there was an increase in the number of daily active addresses, compared to the previous year, which makes it clear that the high percentage of BTC held at a standstill is not due to a generic reduction in their use, but to a deliberate choice on the part of holders.
During the course of 2020 it will be interesting to check whether, should the bitcoin value rise, this percentage will decrease, i.e. if a massive portion of the holders will decide to move their BTC, perhaps to sell them, or will continue to keep them stationary waiting for any further increases.
According to some analysts, this high percentage may also be the result of investments in BTC made at the end of 2017, during the short peak period, by investors who have not yet decided to sell in order to avoid making a loss.
However, the period during which the price remained higher than $9,000 for several days was not particularly long and, although that period was the one with the highest trading volumes so far, it could be only partly responsible for the strategy that sees many BTC owners holding them in their portfolios waiting for an eventual increase in value.