Bitcoin (BTC) reserves on derivatives exchanges have fallen to levels not seen since the price crash in May.
Data from the on-chain analytics service CryptoQuant confirmed that derivatives reserves totaled 1.256 million BTC as of Aug. 10, the lowest since May 11.
Institutions will repeat the fourth quarter of 2020.
Figures show that major players have been adding to their BTC holdings throughout the downturn, despite institutional interest returning to cryptocurrency instruments such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).
“Big money has been buying,” said analyst William Clemente this week.
Exchange balances demonstrate the point, with derivatives platforms experiencing a recurrence of the trend last seen at the end of 2020.
Even during the most intense phase of this year’s BTC bull run, derivatives balances increased — a decreasing balance characterized only the very beginning of the run to $64,500.
“Entities with 10K-100K BTC have added +269,450 to their holdings ($12.1B) since May 19th,” Clemente added, citing additional data.
“These entities have allocated between $450M and $4.5B of their capital to Bitcoin.”
Activation of accumulation
Institutions have not been deterred by any overarching narrative from cryptocurrency or elsewhere, such as China’s miner rout since May or the ongoing saga over the United States’ infrastructure bill.
As previously reported, retail exchange balances have been declining for some time.
The total exchange balance was 2.44 million BTC as of Tuesday, a three-month low.