In 2018 Bitcoin price went through a brutal winter, losing 84% of its value. In the second half of 2019 as well, BTC went from $13,900 to $6,400. But despite the ups and downs in the price, the total amount of BTC held on the nine exchanges surged over the last five years.
While Gemini and Bittrex saw a large increase in early 2018 only to level off, Binance continued to grow after 2018. Bitstamp saw a sudden dip in their supply due to moving their cold storage back and forth between Xapo.
Poloniex BTC Supplies Dropped to Lowest Levels since Jan. 2016
The biggest hit was taken by Tron founder Justin Sun who invested Poloniex. Launched in 2014, Poloniex thrived in the unregulated market becoming one of the largest exchanges in the world. But coming to the end of the 2017 bull market, it suffered from scaling and support issues.
After acquired by Circle in February 2018, in less than two years, the company announced they were spinning out Poloniex. Things continued to get worse for the exchange as one month after that in Nov. 2019, it ended support for US customers. All of this sent Poloniex on-chain supplies to their lowest levels since Jan. 2016.
2019 Recorded a Surge in Exchanges' BTC Supply
Crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX that offers leveraged trading of up to 100x has been only growing steadily over the last few years. Founded in 2014 as well, the Seychelles-registered platform increased its BTC supply during the 2018 bear market.
Despite being under investigation by the US CFTC, its “insurance fund” of BTC grew by more than 63% in 2019.
The exchange that emerged as the winner is Huobi which had moderate success over its first five years of operations. It was during the second half of 2019 that the exchange saw a large increase in both BTC and ETH supply.
Huobi was also the platform that received large quantities of BTC and ETH from China-based Ponzi scheme $3 billion PlusToken scam.
During the last five years, supply distribution for exchanges has become “significantly more distributed, which is a positive sign for the health of the overall market.”