Over 15.8 million bitcoin wallets have been dormant for the past 12 months, meaning about 9.4% of the flagship cryptocurrency’s circulating supply has been held in wallets for said period, as some believe it’s now becoming a store of value.
First spotted by MarketWatch, data from bitinfocharts shows that the number of dormant bitcoin wallets nearly tripled since the beginning of 2017, when there were 5.94 million inactive BTC wallets. In the beginning of 2016, the number was of 5.11 million.
Cryptocurrency proponents often look at BTC as a store of value, with the potential to help them hedge against a stock market crash. Notably, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 dropped 3.4% and 4.4% in the last two weeks, while BTC dropped less than 2%.
Anthony Pompliano, founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, was quoted as saying:
Holding bitcoin in the store of value thesis has become a popular narrative recently. [It’s] highly likely that people are buying into the narrative.
Bitcoin’s relative stability compared to the stock market can be helpful, according to Pompliano, as the “less media hype, the less people are constantly thinking about their holdings.” Thinking less about crypto portfolios, he added, leads to less activity.
The cryptocurrency has, in fact, seen its 30-day volatility index drop to lows it hadn’t seen since December of 2016. The index recently dropped to 1.42%, down from a high of nearly 8% during last year’s bull run.
The 100 largest dormant wallets account for nearly 10% of all available bitcoin, with the largest one holding nearly 80,000 BTC, 0.46% of the supply. This makes it the seventh-largest bitcoin wallet, as it’s only below wallets owned by cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance.
Large holders are known as bitcoin whales and can heavily influence the market. As CryptoGlobe covered, a bitcoin whale moved $800 million worth of the cryptocurrency in late August, and shortly after, the price dropped over $400 in only 90 minutes.
CryptoCompare data shows bitcoin has been trading within a tight range for the past few weeks, between the $6,700 and the $6,250 marks. The cryptocurrency is down by about 0.8% in the last 24 hours, which supports the argument it’s becoming a store of value.