So far, the supply of Bitcoin (BTC) held on exchanges has recently seen a significant decrease, reaching levels last observed in February 2018. This trend underscores a developing pattern in the crypto market – traders and investors preferring to secure their digital assets outside of these platforms.
Data from the blockchain intelligence firm, Santiment, confirms this trend, as reported in a recent tweet. It revealed that the decline in Bitcoin’s supply on exchanges could be attributed to the prevailing uncertainty associated with the legal actions taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against cryptocurrency giants, Binance and Coinbase.
Regulatory Tensions Drive Bitcoin Off Exchanges
According to Santiment, the ongoing SEC lawsuits against major exchange platforms have prompted a shift in the dynamics of Bitcoin storage. The firm maintains that as long as these lawsuits persist, Bitcoin holders will continue to seek safer self-custody options, minimizing their reliance on exchange platforms.
As Santiment pointed out:
Bitcoin’s exchange supply has now fallen to its lowest level since February 2018. Traders continue moving BTC to self-custody during the uncertainty surrounding Binance and Coinbase. As long as these SEC lawsuits loom, this trend should continue.
Notably, the latest reports reveal that Amy Berman Jackson, a District Judge in the United States, has instructed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Binance.US to find common ground concerning the original order to freeze the exchange’s assets.
Highlighting the broader implications of an outright shutdown, Jackson noted in a hearing on June 13:
A total shutdown would yield considerable repercussions, not only for the firm but also for the overall digital asset market.
Thus far, it appears both parties are willing to collaborate on a plan that could enable the exchange to evade the comprehensive freezing of its assets.
Market Reactions Amid Ongoing Litigation
While the legal issues unfold, the crypto market has not remained untouched. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $25,990, marking a modest drop of 0.5% in the last 24 hours and a further plunge of 3.1% in the past seven days.
Bitcoin’s trading volume has also recorded a significant plunge from $23.6 billion last Wednesday to $9.1 billion in the past 24 hours indicating less trading activity. The asset’s market capitalization has seen a more than $10 billion loss in the past week, causing BTC’s market cap has plummeted from $518 billion last Wednesday to $503 billion as of today.
Furthermore, the litigation cloud hanging over the crypto giants represents more than a fleeting problem for the crypto industry. It introduces a level of uncertainty that could disrupt the usual flow of operations and, as it is being witnessed, influence the way Bitcoin is stored.
Nonetheless, despite these challenges, the tenacity of Bitcoin holders in securing their assets exhibits the resilience of the cryptocurrency industry. As the market navigates the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, market dynamics such as these provide crucial insights into the coping mechanisms adopted by traders and investors.
Featured image from iStock, Chart from TradingView