“Selling miners” is a popular way to explain Bitcoin’s occasional price movement. However, on-chain data does not support this representation, according to analysts and mining pools.
After Bitcoin corrected nearly 30% earlier this week, miners have been a popular scapegoat. According to network data collected by Glassnode and analyzed by CoinDesk, miners’ sales habits have been extremely consistent for months.
For the past six months, weekly bitcoin flows from mining wallets to exchanges have been stable despite the cryptocurrency’s growth of more than 330% over the same period. The only anomalous activity seen in mining wallets occurred long before Bitcoin’s correction.
Since July 2020, miners per CoinDesk Research have sent an average of 2,100 coins per week to exchanges. Miners are currently well on their way to ending another hugely average week with just 1,200 coins so far transferred from their wallets for exchanging cryptocurrencies.
Total bitcoin transfers from mining wallets to exchange addresses.
Source: Glassnode, CoinDesk Research
Karim Helmy, Senior Analyst at Coin Metrics, confirmed this observation, telling CoinDesk that there is no on-chain data to support increased sales by miners.
“BTC-denominated gross inflows and outflows from mining wallets have remained stable, as have net flows,” Helmy said in a direct message.
The timing is off
However, there was an unusually sharp decline in the supply of mining bags in the last four days from December 26th to 30th. During this period, the total inventory of wallets decreased by 21,000 BTC, which is a decrease of 1%.
But instead of potentially causing a correction, these transfers were made while Bitcoin rose from $ 26,000 to $ 29,000. Additionally, Bitcoin price rose another 43% over the next nine days before temporarily falling just below $ 42,000 and falling nearly 30% by Monday morning.
These coins appear to have never been sent to exchanges, according to Glassnode data. During the four-day period, exchanges received a total of less than 2,400 coins from mining purses, an amount well below the 21,000 coins withdrawn from mining purses.
Total BTC account balance of the Bitcoin miner addresses
Source: Glassnode, Coin Metrics, CoinDesk Research
Even if every coin sent by miners’ exchanges were instantly sold in the market, their order would represent a tiny percentage of the daily trading volume.
The miners sent 1,890 BTC to the exchanges on December 26, 2020, which is worth around $ 48 million at that time and the largest one-day transfer in the past year. On the same day, Binance – currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume – reported a volume of over 148,000 BTC for its BTC / USDT pair, the exchange’s largest Bitcoin market.
Assuming miners all sold their coins in one market on an exchange, they would represent 1.3% of their daily volume.
Pools pile up and don’t sell.
Leading mining pools are actually increasing their Bitcoin holdings rather than liquidating them, with miners’ balances at F2Pool and Lubian – the two largest mining pools by their individual holdings – growing steadily over the past eight months per Glassnode.
“I’m not sure which addresses you see,” said Kevin Pan, CEO of Poolin, calling anything that shows a significant increase in miner sales “maybe fake data.”
Read More: Bitcoin Sinking As Miners Sell Inventory, Spot Markets Panic
Although Slush Pool doesn’t closely track what their miners are doing with their Bitcoin withdrawals, engineer and technical writer Daniel Frumkin told CoinDesk, “We know that many of our miners are long BTC and only sell the portion of their earnings that is needed to cover it what is needed is cost and risk management. “
If the price goes up dramatically, miners can and will sell less bitcoins, not more, as the price increase increases their profit margins per coin mined.
So who is selling?
The most recent price declines are most likely mainly due to US investors making profits.
Read More: Guggenheim CIO Says Bitcoin Should Be Worth $ 400,000
For example, Scott Minerd, CIO of Guggenheim, told Twitter on Sunday that it was “time to take some money off the table” on bitcoin after telling CNBC a month ago that bitcoin was worth $ 400,000 should be. Significant sales activity at Coinbase over the weekend and Monday also signaled profit-taking from US investors.
Regardless of what catalyzed it, Bitcoin’s final correction didn’t come from miners selling their bitcoins. In fact, they accumulate more.