The number of Bitcoin wallets where at least 1,000 BTC are stored has hit a new all-time high.
This has been revealed by Glassnode, which shows a graph of how the number of addresses with at least one thousand bitcoin has changed over time, as extracted from the public blockchain.
Ignoring the early years, from 2014 onwards this number has remained almost constantly above 1,500 addresses, with a first peak at almost 1,900 in mid-2016.
After a downturn that lasted until September 2018, it started to grow again, surpassing 2,000 for the first time in mid-2019.
Since then it has continued to rise, hitting a new high of 2,425 two days ago.
It should be noted that it has literally surged in recent weeks, when compared to the upward trend of previous months, probably due to several institutional investors entering this market.
Bitcoin, record of the richest bitcoin wallets owed to exchanges
It is worth noting, however, that this number also includes many addresses that belong to exchanges, where BTC owned by users are actually stored, whereas many investors tend to split their BTC across several addresses.
It would therefore be incorrect to say that there are fewer than 2,500 people in the world who hold at least 1,000 BTC in their wallets, but it is still possible to say that whale addresses are on the increase.
Incidentally, in total these 2,425 addresses hold about 8 million BTC, out of a total of 18.6 million (i.e. less than half), while 52% of the world’s existing BTC is held on addresses that have between 1 and 1,000 BTC.
The fact that there is an increase in the number of bitcoin stored on huge addresses, with 1,000 BTC being equivalent to about $35 million, suggests that there may be an attempt by large institutional investors to hold for the long term. If this is the case, it would generate a shortage of supply in the markets, leading to an increase in price.
Another very interesting aspect of Glassnode’s chart is the comparison between the current data, with BTC at $35,000, and that of, for example, 2018, when the price fell below $3,500 after being at $20,000.
At that time, the number of addresses with at least 1,000 BTC never fell below 1,600, even rising to 1,800 at the very moment of the collapse below $3,500.
In other words there seem to be very few whales ready to sell large amounts of bitcoin on the market when the price falls, although one should always remember that these numbers include exchange addresses.