Bitcoin's unmoved supply hits all-time high amid institutional interest

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin supply unmoved for at least one year reached an all-time high in June — approximately 70% of the circulating supply.
  • Bitcoin’s price action, the GBTC discount and institutional interest in bitcoin on OTC desks also strengthened last month, despite recession concerns.

In its latest bitcoin report for June, asset management firm Ark Invest highlighted growing support from strong holders and improved institutional sentiment toward the leading cryptocurrency.

According to Ark's analysis, nearly 70% of the circulating supply of bitcoin has not been moved for at least a year, indicating a strengthening holder base and the confidence of long-term bitcoin investors, Ark said.

Bitcoin long-term holder supply. Image: Ark Invest.

In June, bitcoin closed at $30,460, reflecting an 11.9% increase for the month. The cryptocurrency found strong technical support at its 200-week moving average, closing the month 14% above it, Ark reported. 

Bitcoin 200-week moving average and short-term holder cost basis. Image: Ark Invest.

Improved institutional sentiment

Since BlackRock filed for its spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15, the discount to net asset value (NAV)  — meaning the market price of each share is lower than the value of the bitcoin it represents — of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) reduced from 42% to 30% — a one-year low. The narrowing discount potentially indicates the market's anticipation of a bitcoin spot ETF approval — increasing the odds of GBTC’s conversion into an ETF, according to Ark’s report. 

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Last week, Ark said BlackRock’s ETF filing could be a “turning point” for bitcoin. Days later, Cboe amended a filing for Ark's own bitcoin ETF submission to include a BlackRock-like surveillance sharing agreement to deter fraud and market manipulation. Ark also said it was first in line in the renewed race for a spot bitcoin ETF — including applications from Invesco, Valkyrie and Fidelity — as it initially filed in April, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, the balance of bitcoin held on over-the-counter (OTC) desks, which serves as a proxy for institutional activity, reached a one-year high in June, with the OTC bitcoin balance increasing 60% by the end of the quarter. This rise suggests that institutions and large capital allocators are increasingly focused on bitcoin as an investment option, Ark said.

Stablecoin trends

The report also highlighted a divergence in trends between USDC and Tether. While USDC has experienced a 37% decrease in supply year-to-date, Tether has seen a 25% increase, reaching an all-time high in June. Ark said this divergence can be attributed to the uncertain regulatory environment in the U.S., pushing some crypto activity offshore, and the brief depegging of USDC in March following issuer Circle’s disclosure it held $3.3 billion of USDC’s reserves at the failed Silicon Valley Bank.

Despite the positive indicators for bitcoin, Ark's report warned of economic challenges ahead, with data from the manufacturing sector indicating a decline in new orders in the Purchasing Managers' Index. Additionally, the U.S. Gross Domestic Income (GDI) is contracting sequentially, implying a possible recession, Ark said.


© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

James Hunt is a reporter at The Block, based in the UK. As the writer behind The Daily newsletter, James also keeps you up to speed on the latest crypto news every weekday. Prior to joining The Block in 2022, James spent four years as a freelance writer in the industry, contributing to both publications and crypto project content. James’ coverage spans everything from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Layer 2 scaling solutions, avant-garde DeFi protocols, evolving DAO governance structures, trending NFTs and memecoins, regulatory landscapes, crypto company deals and the immersive metaverse. You can get in touch with James on Twitter or Telegram via @humanjets or email him at [email protected].

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