Bitcoin: What rise of wholecoiners suggests about BTC

David Heredia November 29, 2023
Bitcoin: What rise of wholecoiners suggests about BTC

Owning a Bitcoin [BTC] has become a prestige issue for crypto market participants. Considering the rate at which the king coin’s value has grown over the last decade, the ownership of at least one unit of the prized asset signifies honor.

This user cohort, popularly called wholecoiners, has seen steady expansion over the years. According to a recent X post by on-chain analytics firm IntoTheBlock, there were more than 1 million wholecoiners in the market.

As of this writing, one BTC was trading at $37,447, according to CoinMarketCap. The high price creates significant entry barriers for many players who then compete by buying small units of the digital asset.

Moreover, the supply cap of 21 million introduces further constraints in owning one whole Bitcoin. Note that more than 1 million coins are believed to be held by the creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Against this backdrop, the growing number of wholecoiners reflected confidence in Bitcoin’s long-term outlook.

It could be seen from the above graph that the number dropped during the 2021 bull run when investors were selling and booking profits. However, as the market slipped into a bearish phase, accumulation and HODLing became popular.

Going forward, acquiring a Bitcoin would become more difficult due to halvings and coins held in spot exchange-traded funds (ETF). The scarcity could spur demand and, consequently, sharp price hikes.

Meanwhile, detached from the discussion on wholecoiners, whale investors continued to amass more Bitcoins.

According to AMBCrypto’s examination of Glassnode’s data, addresses with at least 1,000 coins reached levels last seen in May 2022. Barring short periods of profit-taking, the number of Bitcoin whales has steadily increased in 2023.

As discussed earlier, Bitcoin’s scarcity led users to HODL coins rather than trade them in the market. The Long-term holder (LTH) supply, indicative of BTC’s illiquidity, increased steadily in 2023.

In contrast, short-term holder (STH) supply, or the tradable supply, dropped.

There was a higher chance that the wholecoiner count would rise further in the run-up to the halving. Many investors may want to grab the world’s largest digital asset before it becomes out of bounds, given the high expectations for a bull run.

David Heredia