The share of Bitcoin supply owned by retail investors has reached an all-time high of around 17%, according to blockchain research firms Glassnode and IntoTheBlock.

See related article: Retail crypto sees more new users when Bitcoin prices rise: BIS report

Fast facts

  • GlassNode defines retail investors as any wallet controlling less than 10 BTC, which is currently worth US$168,300.
  • IntoTheBlock data also shows that the percentage of Bitcoin’s supply that hasn’t moved for at least a year was also at a record high on Monday, making up nearly 70% of the total.
  • “Not perfect yet, but solid for a 12-year-old asset and definitely trending in the right direction,” said Will Clemente, a blockchain analyst at Reflexivity Research, in a tweet where he shared a graph of Glassnode’s data. “Bitcoin’s supply disperses over time, while fiat’s holder base concentrates to whales over time.”
  • Bitcoin supply was reportedly controlled by just 2% of wallets around two years ago, which invited criticisms of the concentrated ownership of the cryptocurrency.
  • However, some industry analysts argued that the reported numbers did not account for lost Bitcoins, wrapped Bitcoins or custodians.
  • A rise in the level of retail Bitcoin investors is most closely linked to a rise in the price of the asset, rather than narratives such as distrust in public institutions, banks or as an alternative store of value, according to a November report by the Bank of International Settlements.

See related article: Hong Kong retail investors blocked from Bitcoin spot ETFs