Bitcoin HODLers Are Finally Starting To Take Profit: Glassnode

Bitcoin (BTC)’s meteoric rise over the past few months has many long-term holders starting to cash out their positions, on-chain data suggests.

In a research newsletter published on Tuesday, Glassnode noted that long-term investors have already distributed 480,000 BTC since December 2023, from which time BTC has appreciated 45%.

Bitcoin’s Distribution Phase

According to lead Glassnode analyst James Check, roughly half of the old coins to started changing in the last three months came from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

As the largest Bitcoin fund in the world, Grayscale has suffered nothing but outflows since converting into a Bitcoin spot ETF on January 11, dumping 202,873 BTC on the market.

Overall, long-term holders are distributing coins at a rate of 257,000 BTC per month. By comparison, HODLers sold BTC at a rate of 319,000 BTC per month and 836,000 BTC per month during major market expansions in mid-2019 and early 2021, respectively.

“Like clockwork, long-term #Bitcoin holders have started their ATH distribution,” wrote Check in a post to X on Monday. “it goes to show that there are HODLers who can and do read the market very well.”

By Glassnode’s terms, a HODLer is anyone who’s held BTC in one wallet for over 155 days. On-chain data shows that the average cost basis for this cohort’s holdings is $20,700. In other words, at BTC’s current price of $64,700, they’re sitting on a ~225% profit.

In its Tuesday report, Glassnode explained:

“Based on the current value, these investors are approaching their Euphoria state with an elevated incentive to spend and take profits. Historically, this cohort ramps up their spending as new market ATHs are reached, with distribution accelerating until they help form the cycle macro top.”

Bitcoin’s Early All-Time High

Bitcoin briefly tapped a new all-time high on Tuesday at $69,200, before quickly descending back to $64,000 amid over $700 million in crypto market liquidations.

Despite the pullback, Glassnode said that BTC new demand may be enough to offset sell pressure from old investors for many months to come, based on historical trends.

Specifically, the average long-term holder has been net-selling BTC over the previous 8 to 15-day period for the past 42 days, while prior bull markets sustained such sell pressure for between 123 and 225 days.

“It may suggest that demand inflows could offset LTH spending for several months ahead, should history be any guide,” wrote Glassnode.


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