Miners Hodling: BTC Flowing from Miners to Exchanges Reaches 1-Year Low
Miners appear to be hodling BTC after the recent halving. However, this does not represent bullish sentiment, but rather an inability to recover costs at current prices.
The number of BTC being sent by miners to exchanges is at its lowest point in over a year; in other words, miners appear to be hodling rather than selling bitcoin.
This apparent hodling behaviour began immediately after the recent halving, when the block reward dropped from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC per block. The implication of this is that miners are delaying selling their BTC, and are instead waiting for the price to rise before realizing their profits.
As such, even though hodling might ordinarily appear to indicate bullish sentiment, in this case the sale of those BTC is almost certainly being only temporarily deferred; the fact remains that miners have to cover their costs - and margins can often be very low, especially after the halving. It is therefore more likely that the next meaningful price spike will trigger a sell-off by miners, and that this "hodling" behavior is not long-term.
Miners Selling != Capitulation
This should not be thought of as capitulation, however. It is a fact of the market that miners must cover their operating costs, and selling BTC for this purpose has always been a necessary part of this process. It does not suggest that miners think the price is too high, but rather shows that their costs of doing business cannot be deferred forever, and that they have been suffering from reduced revenue post-halving which they need to recover.
However, the market cannot automatically distinguish between sell pressure from miners recovering costs vs. genuine bearish sentiment. Is is therefore possible that when miners sell large amounts of BTC during the next price increase, the price will go down in response. This could theoretically lead to a cycle where miners hold onto BTC until they can sell it profitably, at which point the concentrated sell pressure causes the price to drop, meaning that miners again cannot sell at a profit, and so on.
Overall, the fact that miners are choosing to hold rather than sell BTC at current prices implies that mining is not widely financially viable at this price, suggesting that a sustained price increase (or increase in fees) is required in order to keep mining sustainable and break the potential cycle of miners hodling->selling->hodling.
To stay ahead of these trends, keep an eye on Miner Flows to Exchanges, and also check out the stacked chart to see the selling patterns of individual mining pools:
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