Bitcoin ETFs lead to record miner reserve BTC outflows

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A report from Bitfinex suggests that miners are either selling Bitcoin holdings or leveraging coins to raise capital.

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Bitcoin ETFs lead to record miner reserve BTC outflows

The launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States has directly influenced miners’ BTC reserves, with more than $1 billion of BTC flowing from miner wallets to exchanges in the first 48 hours of trading.

According to the latest Bitfinex Alpha market report reflecting on-chain data, the second day of trading of Bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 12 saw a significant increase in Bitcoin miners’ outflow to exchanges. Citing data from Glassnode, the report highlights over $1 billion of Bitcoin (BTC) being sent to exchanges from miner-associated wallets on the same day, marking a six-year high in miner outflow.

Feb. 1 also saw another significant amount of BTC moving out of miner wallets, with 13,500 BTC being sent to exchanges. The report also notes that around 10,000 BTC was sent back to miner wallets on Feb. 2, suggesting that activity could also be attributed to specific mining companies rebalancing wallets.

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Bitfinex analysts suggest that a net outflow of 3,500 BTC over a single day marks the highest value of the metric observed since May 2023.

On-chain data reflecting Bitcoin inflows and outflows from miner wallets following the approval of Bitcoin ETFs. Source: Bitfinex Alpha/CryptoQuant

The report adds that on-chain data reflecting the flow of Bitcoin from miner wallets has been predominantly negative since the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in the United States. CryptoQuant data estimates the net outflows from miners to be approximately 10,200 BTC.

The Bitcoin miner reserve has decreased to 1.826 million BTC, its lowest point since June 2021. Source: Bitfinex

The factors influencing BTC outflows from miner wallets are multifaceted. The report cites the need for operational liquidity for miners as well as varying responses to market conditions and adjustments following the approval of Bitcoin ETFs. The analysts add that some miners may have also looked to capitalize on the price surge weeks before the ETFs were approved:

“This substantial transfer of BTC from miners to exchanges reflects the miners’ response to market conditions and potentially their need to liquidate holdings for operational expenses or risk management.”

While miners were observed moving Bitcoin from wallets post Bitcoin ETF approvals, on-chain data also suggests that long-term Bitcoin investors are holding assets and are reluctant to sell at current market prices.

Related: BTC price sets new February high as Bitcoin buyers target faraway $25K

Referring to the supply last active metric, the analysts highlight a decline in supply last active within the one-year and two-year time horizons. This activity has been directly associated with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, with dormant BTC holdings having been sold or swapped into other Bitcoin ETFs.

“The result being that a noteworthy volume of BTC, which has been dormant for an extended period, has begun to circulate in recent weeks.”

The report notes that the movement of older Bitcoin supply is a notable indicator of market behavior, reflecting changing sentiments and strategies of investors that are responding to Bitcoin ETFs or reassessing positions in response to current market conditions.

The analysts maintain that a significant majority of the Bitcoin supply continues to be tightly held. The trend of holding among long-term investors reflects a continued belief in the future appreciation of Bitcoin.

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