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Half of Bitcoin Is Held at a Net Unrealized Profit

Sep 12, 2022
Half of Bitcoin Is Held at a Net Unrealized Profit
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Last November, it commanded $68K. Since mid-June this year, however, it’s rangebound around the $20K level. But today, just over half of holders have a net unrealized profit on hand.

The Bitcoin price rallied abruptly last week, starting Wednesday. The PoW king posted a double-digit percentage gain at the height of the surge on Friday and keeps going up since then. After recovering above the $20,000 level this week, the Bitcoin price action flushed out $160 million worth of bitcoin shorts.

But even before this rally, nearly 50% of BTC holders were in positive or unrealized gain territory. That’s according to an on-chain metric called Net Unrealized Profit or Loss (NUPL).

“Unrealized” simply means this metric is for those who haven’t sold. It’s a measure of whether or not they would gain or lose if they sold at the current average market price.

As of Wednesday last week, just before the week’s sudden bitcoin price surge, 47% or nearly half of bitcoin holders had a profit on their hands, according to some estimates. By now, this number sits even higher.

Another estimate from earlier this week, based on CryptoQuant data analytics, pegs that percentage at an even tighter margin, with the NUPL at -0.07.

NUPL describes whether Bitcoin holders have a profit or loss on their hands. When the number is positive, more investors hold unrealized profits, and when it’s negative, more hold unrealized losses.

With that number so close to 0, the percentage of bitcoin held at a profit is nearly equal to that held at a loss if the holder were to sell on the day the metric was taken.

GlassNode data also shows the number of 7-Day bitcoin addresses holding at a loss sharply veering up to parity with profitably held coin over the end of August and into this month.

Meanwhile, long-term holders are hanging onto their BTC and moving it off liquid exchanges to keep in storage.

A SAXO Markets report at the beginning of the month noted that:

In the month of August, Bitcoin exchanges experienced a net withdrawal. Around 9% of the total supply is now left on exchanges in comparison to 12% at the beginning of the year. A lower exchange balance is usually associated with a decrease in potential selling pressure.

Even back in March, with the bitcoin price in sharp capitulation over Nov – Jan prices and facing huge resistance, only 40% of holders were underwater.

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