Bitcoin miners sent $1 billion to exchanges since BlackRock ETF filing

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin miners sent more than $1 billion worth of bitcoin to exchanges since BlackRock filed for a spot bitcoin ETF.
  • Derivatives exchanges have received the majority of the bitcoin transfers, though most funds have now returned to the miners’ wallets.

Miners sent more than $1 billion worth of bitcoin from their wallets to cryptocurrency exchanges over the last two weeks.

The currency outflows from miners suggest heightened trading activities and potential hedging strategies, according to the on-chain data analytics provider CryptoQuant, coinciding with the timing of BlackRock’s bitcoin ETF filing on June 15. The news was first reported by CoinDesk.

Approximately 33,860 BTC has been sent to derivatives exchanges, though most funds have since returned to the miners' proprietary wallets. “This could signal that miners may be using their newly minted coins as collateral in derivatives trading activities,” CryptoQuant analyst Cauê Oliveira said. “A good example of this type of trading is known as hedging, which uses bets in the opposite direction to market consensus.”

Miners also saw an approximate 8,000 BTC reduction in their reserves during the period, CryptoQuant added, of which only a small amount was sent to spot trading venues.

Despite the $1 billion worth of transfers, as most coins are not going to spot exchanges, the activity does not significantly impact market selling pressure on the price of bitcoin, Oliveira said, with miners engaging in trading activities within the derivatives market rather than directly selling their holdings.

Miner to exchange flow chart via CryptoQuant

Miner to exchange flow chart. Image: CryptoQuant.

"Some seem to be selling out of necessity, liquidating more than 100% of their monthly production, which implies that they are dipping into their reserves. Others, like Marathon, do so strategically, constantly evaluating the cost of capital to determine if we should sell bitcoin or utilize equity or debt to fund growth," Marathon's VP of Corporate Communications Charlie Schumacher said in an email to The Block.

"One thing that does seem to have changed is financial institutions have become more sophisticated with the products they're offering to miners. Hedging services are becoming increasingly more common and curated. While Marathon does not hedge its bitcoin holdings today, we are constantly evaluating ways to leverage our bitcoin holdings and mitigate any risks to the company," Schumacher added.

Yesterday, The Block broke the news that Fidelity is close to submitting its own filing for a spot bitcoin ETF, following similar submissions by Wisdom Tree, Bitwise, Invesco and Valkyrie in the race recently restarted by BlackRock.

Bitcoin is up over 20% since BlackRock’s filing, according to CoinGecko data.

Updated with comment from Marathon.

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