Crypto exchanges see decrease in holdings

Bitcoin and Ether held by exchanges has dropped 6% since last quarter

The Block took some time to analyze the cryptocurrency holdings of a number of exchanges and produced some interesting details. The amount of crypto held by virtually all of the top exchanges has dropped since the last quarter of 2018, with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) holdings falling 6% and Tether dropping a full 40%.

Among the exchanges included in the analysis are Binance, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Huobi, Kraken and Poloniex. Coinbase and BitMEX were noticeably absent since they do not maintain public wallets. Of those reviewed, the Kraken exchange saw the biggest decline, dropping 21.7% between the last and current quarters. Kraken reportedly held 98,026 BTC in the fourth quarter of 2018 and now only holds 76,710.

Poloniex fell by a similar amount – 21.6% – but it holds a significantly lower amount of crypto. Its BTC holdings dropped from 6,708 coins to just 5,260. Out of all of the included exchanges, Bittrex and Huobi were the only two to remain positive, with Bittrex not seeing any change and Huobi reporting an increase of 10.3% in its holdings.

The reasons for the changes cannot be pinpointed. It’s possible that investors have stepped away from crypto due to last year’s bear market, or they could have decided to move their assets out of the exchanges’ wallets and into their own.

There are around 716,000 BTC – 4.1% of the amount in circulation – currently held in publicly known exchange wallets. Exchanges are also holding about 7 million ETH, which is around 6.8% of the total circulating supply. Tether, one of the first stablecoins to be introduced, is mainly held in exchange wallets, which reportedly control 63.5% of the circulating amount.

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