HomeCryptoBitcoinThe historical record of Bitcoin wallets

The historical record of Bitcoin wallets

In the last few days, a new historical record has been set for Bitcoin wallets. 

In fact, for the first time in history, there have been over 50 million addresses on the blockchain with at least one Satoshi.

A Satoshi is the smallest unit in which a Bitcoin can be divided, and it is equivalent to one hundred millionth of a BTC. 

Wallets, addresses, and holders: the records for Bitcoin

Although there is no equivalence between the number of public addresses and the number of wallets, the number of addresses is the best proxy we have for measuring changes in the number of wallets. 

Public addresses are the ones where BTC are actually stored, and their activity is publicly traceable on the Bitcoin blockchain.

However, a wallet can manage multiple addresses, and in fact, a single BTC holder usually holds them on different public addresses. 

On the other hand, on exchange addresses there are BTC belonging to multiple users, so not only there is no equivalence with the number of wallets, but also with the number of holders. 

If the number of actual wallets is certainly lower than the number of addresses, although it is not calculable by how much, it is also true that the number of actual holders is greater than the number of wallets, since exchange wallets hold the BTC of thousands or hundreds of thousands of holders. 

The record of Bitcoin wallets

What can be monitored with certainty, and publicly, is the total number of public addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain that are known to hold at least one Satoshi.

Note that although it is not always a growing number, the overall trend over the years is always clearly increasing. 

The first ten million was surpassed during the great bull run of 2017, when the price of Bitcoin rose from $1,000 to $20,000 in less than a year.

On the wave of that growth, at the beginning of the following year, even the 20 million addresses were surpassed, with a surge that ended with the burst of the bubble before February 2018.

The 30 million addresses were surpassed by the end of 2020, just as the next major bull run was about to begin, and on the wave of that same bull run, the 40 million mark was then surpassed in 2021. 

The curious thing is that during the bear market of 2022 there was not a sharp decrease in the number of Bitcoin addresses with a positive balance, but rather a period of stagnation followed by a new acceleration. 

The latest big acceleration, which allowed to exceed the 50 million mark in recent days, occurred throughout the course of 2023. 

The growth of Bitcoin

This metric should not be confused with the number of active addresses. 

In fact, “active addresses” refer to those that have made at least one transaction within a certain period of time, while addresses with a positive balance are all those that hold at least one Satoshi on a certain date, regardless of the number and type of transactions they have made. 

The number of active addresses has also increased in 2023, reaching new records, but an important clarification needs to be made in this regard. 

In fact, there has been no surge from this point of view throughout 2023, but only between April and May. This surge is indeed due to the Ordinals (through the Inscription), which are NFTs on Bitcoin.

The Inscriptions are not Bitcoin transactions, even though they are transactions with fees paid in BTC. 

Therefore, transactions on-chain that exclusively concern Inscriptions should be excluded from the count in order to have a correct idea of this trend. 

In fact, when at the end of September the transactions of the Inscription collapsed, the number of average daily transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain returned to normal. 

The growth of holders

What emerges from such a scenario is that holders seem to be increasing, that is, those who, after purchasing BTC, simply keep them in their wallet indefinitely, perhaps to use them in the future. 

On the other hand, record levels have also been reached for BTC held on the blockchain for a long time, and this really makes you think that now the majority of Bitcoin holders are hodlers who put them in their wallet indefinitely.

Moreover, there are now even companies like MicroStrategy that hold their monetary reserves in Bitcoin, selling them only when necessary. 

The scenario therefore is that of a Bitcoin that has increasingly become a store of value, although still carrying some risk.

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli
Born in 1975, Marco has been the first to talk about Bitcoin on YouTube in Italy. He founded ilBitcoin.news and the Facebook group" Bitcoin Italia (open and without scam) ".