The number of wallet addresses holding at least one BTC full token has crossed one million for the first time in Bitcoin’s existence. The consistent rise in the number of so-called “wholecoiner” Bitcoin wallets, which resumed in 2022 after a two-year hiatus, coincides with a continued rise in the number of wallets holding at least 0.1 and 0.01 BTC, as well as a continued rise in the number of wallets with a non-zero balance.
These wallet cohorts are presently at or near record highs of 4.367 million, 12.032 million, and 46.715 million, respectively.The more equitable distribution of Bitcoin supply occurs as new Bitcoins are mined (at a current pace of roughly 6.25 per 10 minutes as each block is added to the chain) and distributed to miners, with these currencies eventually making their way into the market.
It also comes as Bitcoin’s adoption by society at large grows – as more people become interested in Bitcoin and begin investing, higher demand drives up the price (in the long run, at least) and incentivizes early Bitcoin investors/adopters with a large stash to begin distributing their holdings.
Some may regard this cohort of wallets to represent so-called “smart money” based on recent trends in the growth rate of the number of wholecoiner wallets. Smart money refers to investors who are well-educated and/or actively involved in the market, which individuals who hold one Bitcoin or more are more likely to be than the average investor who just owns a few hundred dollars of BTC.
During the late-2020 parabolic bull run and the period of high average Bitcoin prices in 2021, growth in the number of wholecoin wallets halted and even went negative at times.
This shows that wholecoiners were profiting from the bull market by selling to smaller cohorts, whose numbers grew steadily during the bull market.
The rate of rise in the number of wholecoiners began to pick up again in June 2022, when the Bitcoin price plummeted back under $30,000, before skyrocketing in November after the bankruptcy of crypto exchange FTX spurred a rush by Bitcoin investors to assume self-custody of their holdings.
The ongoing rise in the number of 1 BTC wallets may thus be interpreted as a hint that “smart money” continues to “buy the dip.” Indeed, while the world’s largest cryptocurrency has fared extraordinarily well this year (BTC was last up approximately 65% year-to-date), it is still around 60% down compared its 2021 record highs in the $69,000 range at current levels in the low-$27,000s.
While a Bitcoin bull market may be returning, it is still in its early phases.
When the rate of development in the number of wholecoiner wallets slows or reverses, it could indicate that the bull market is maturing.