The total value of dormant bitcoins exceeds $72 billion

​Number of BTC inactive for more than 10 years exceeded the volume of coins on exchanges

01.03.2023 - 12:00

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3 min

What’s new? According to analytics service Glassnode, in 2023, the number of bitcoins that have not been used for more than 10 years exceeded the total volume of the asset on all crypto exchanges. Blockchain analyst Willy Woo specified that 2,6 million BTC worth $72,228 billion (as of March 1) remain inactive during that period, while another 3,7 million coins were lost (~102,786 billion) according to Chainalysis’ 2020 data. According to more recent data from CryptoRank, in 2022 the number of permanently lost bitcoins exceeded 4,7 million ($130,566 billion).

What else is known? Based on data from analytics services, Woo suggested that by 2030, the number of inactive coins will exceed 3,7 million in addition to those lost. In this, the issue of the first cryptocurrency is limited to 21 million coins. According to Blockchain.com, more than 19,3 million BTC, or 91,9 % of the total, were in circulation as of February 27. Given the lost assets, the actual circulating supply will never reach 21 million BTC.

The volume of new BTC issuance slows down every four years due to halving, bitcoin’s code embedded cut in half of the reward to miners for a mined block on the blockchain. The next halving is expected in May 2024, with the reward reduced to 3,125 BTC.

In late June 2022, Briton James Howells, who accidentally threw away his hard drive with 7500 BTC ($208,35 million at the current exchange rate) in 2013, said he would buy two robot dogs from Boston Dynamics to search for it at a city landfill.

According to CryptoQuant, the market recorded a record outflow of bitcoins from centralized exchanges (CEXs) in late 2022-early 2023 for the entire existence of the first cryptocurrency. Withdrawal could be due to increased user interest in decentralized platforms (DEXs) after the collapse of the FTX exchange and several other centralized crypto companies.

For the history of bitcoin’s creation and potential uses, read GetBlock Magazine’s special feature.

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