Major Players Hold Over 27% of Bitcoin, Signalling Strong Market Confidence and Stability

By Jody McDonald June 13, 2024 In Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, ETF
  • Bitcoin’s dominance and maturity as an asset has been reaffirmed by new insights that show major institutions hold a huge 27% of the cryptocurrency’s available supply.
  • Analysis from Glassnode finds that of the large entities holding BTC, US-based spot Bitcoin ETFs account for 862K of Bitcoin—second only to exchanges, which hold 2.3M BTC.

Major entities including the US Government, exchanges, US exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Bitcoin miners now hold over 27% of the total available Bitcoin supply, according to new analysis by Glassnode

Such vast amounts held by large organisations would seem to reflect a deepening sense of trust in Bitcoin—but it also highlights their influence, and shows how quickly inflows into spot Bitcoin ETFs have changed market dynamics. 

Glassnode found entities collectively hold around 4.23M BTC, with the breakdown as follows:

  • US Spot ETF = 862k BTC
  • Mt. Gox Trustee = 141k BTC
  • US Government = 207k BTC
  • All Exchanges = 2.3M BTC
  • Miners (Exc. Patoshi) = 706k BTC

In particular, popular centralised exchange Coinbase was called out as a significant holder—through both its exchange balances and US spot ETF balances held in custody—accounting for 839K of BTC.


Glassnode defines the current circulating supply as the total supply minus coins that have remained dormant for more than seven years.

Related: Bitcoin ETFs Gain Fresh Momentum Amid US Inflow Surge and Thailand Listing

Bitcoin’s Activity And Inflow Contradictions

Glassnode’s analysis delved into two discrepancies that have emerged around Bitcoin of late: a decline in unchain activity, and stagnant price movement despite enormous ETF inflows.

In terms of Bitcoin’s recent contraction in network activity, Glassnode explains that recent developments on the blockchain have changed the way activity metrics work—in particular the launch of the Runes protocol, which now accounts for 57.2% of daily transactions. Runes reuses wallet addresses that may be involved in multiple transactions within a day. 

Whilst active addressees appear to be collapsing, the amount of transactions processed by the network has seen is near new all-time-highs.

Glassnode’s The Week Onchain Newsletter 

Glassnode said the monthly average transaction count is now 31% above the yearly average, and signifies a relatively high demand for Bitcoin blockspace.

Related: Global Shift: New Report Shows 5% of All Bitcoin Now Secured in ETFs Worldwide

The divergence between BTC’s price and the strong demand for Bitcoin spot ETFs is largely attributable to an emerging ‘cash-and-carry’ arbitrage trading strategy, according to Glassnode. Traders from traditional markets appear to be looking for a market-neutral position—going long on BTC via ETFs alongside short positions via BTC futures contracts. 

We can see that entities categorised as hedge funds are building up an increasingly large net short position for Bitcoin.

Glassnode’s The Week Onchain Newsletter

That’s dampening the effect of ETF demand on BTCs price: “This has resulted in a relatively neutral impact on market prices, suggesting organic buy-side from non-arbitrage demand is required to further stimulate positive price action.”

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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