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What Is the Current Distribution of the Bitcoin Circulating Supply?

What Is the Current Distribution of the Bitcoin Circulating Supply?

Attempt to answer a frequently asked question.

A few days ago, Bitcoin surpassed the 18,500,000 BTC issued. As the supply of Bitcoin is limited to 21 million units, this means that less than 2,500,000 BTC remain to be issued by 2140, by which time all Bitcoins will have been issued.

At the time of writing, the exact Bitcoin circulating supply is 18,506,200 BTC. This means that 88.1% of the Bitcoins that may exist have already been mined.

An interesting question that some people are asking is what is the current distribution of the outstanding supply of Bitcoin. This question comes up all the more often now that a big company like MicroStrategy has just entered the Bitcoin world by buying $400 million worth of Bitcoins.

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a difficult question to answer. Indeed, the number one rule in the Bitcoin Club is never to reveal how many Bitcoins you own.

However, the BlockchainCenter site tries to keep an up-to-date tally of the distribution of the Bitcoin circulating supply among the largest owners. I invite you to take a look at the graphical representation provided by BlockchainCenter:

Visual representation of Bitcoin circulating supply

It tells us first of all that by mid-September 2020, more than 2,600,000 BTC were stored in the cold wallets of trading platforms such as Coinbase, Binance, BitMex, Huobi, Bitfinex, or Kraken.

These Bitcoins belong to individuals who make the dubious choice to leave them on the exchange platforms rather than store their BTC on their own hardware wallets. Under these conditions, they are not really masters of their Bitcoins since they do not have the associated private keys.

Something like 14% of the Bitcoin circulating supply is on the cold wallets of these trading platforms.

Then we have what are often called Zombie Coins. These are BTC that haven’t moved since 2010. This ...

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