Bitcoin extends slide below $43K as Binance’s BTC stash grows to May-crash levels

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Despite Bitcoin (BTC) dropping below the $43,000 mark on Monday, the outflow of BTC from exchanges has continued in a multi-month trend, particularly on Coinbase Pro. 

BTC/USD 4-hour candle chart, Coinbase. Source: TradingView

Over the past month, the amount of Bitcoin held in Coinbase Pro’s vaults dropped by 28,843.87 BTC. Similarly, other crypto exchanges, including Kraken, OKEx, Bitfinex and Huobi, also experienced a drop in their Bitcoin holdings, with the withdrawn amount totaling 30,236 BTC across the board.

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Bitcoin balance on Coinbase Pro. Source: Bybt

On-chain analysts perceive falling Bitcoin reserves as a bullish signal.

That is primarily because most traders move their BTC assets to exchanges only when they prefer to trade them for other assets — be it fiat currencies or altcoins. As a result, the exchange balance serves as a metric to gauge traders’ sentiments for the underlying asset.

As a result, Coinbase Pro’s declining Bitcoin reserves hint at its traders’ intention to hold BTC instead of selling it. But, at the same time, its top rival, Binance, has been playing a spoilsport. 

Binance BTC reserves buck the trend

However, data also shows that the Bitcoin balance in Binance wallets has risen to 29,717 BTC in the last 30 days, which is more than the amount Coinbase Pro withdrew from its vaults.

Bitcoin balance on Binance. Source: Bybt

As the world’s leading crypto exchange by volume, Binance enjoys a certain influence on the market due to its global outreach. The exchange’s rising Bitcoin balances suggest that its users could sell an increasing amount of BTC, the opposite of the trend seen on Coinbase.

The increase in Bitcoin reserves on Binance also reached levels that followed up with the market sell-offs during the second quarter of 2021. Notably, the Bitcoin balance on the exchange spiked from 199,700 BTC on April 20 to 347,590 BTC on June 26.

Bitcoin balance on Binance between April 20 and June 26. Source: Bybt

The same period saw BTC/USD drop from around $65,000 to below $30,000, including the notorious May 19 crash when Bitcoin plunged by more than 30%.

Bitcoin trading at $300 premium on Binance

The massive spike in Bitcoin reserves on Binance also coincided with premium BTC/USD bids on the exchange, with the BTC spot price being almost $400 higher on Binance than on Coinbase.

Bitcoin prices on Binance vs. Coinbase. Source: TradingView

The vast price difference created arbitrage trading opportunities, coinciding with Binance’s Bitcoin reserves adding 1,529 BTC in the previous 24 hours compared to Coinbase that processed withdrawals of 579 BTC.

Related: Does Evergrande’s $300B debt crisis pose systemic risk to the crypto industry?

As a reminder, exchanges still processed more than 30,000 BTC in withdrawals in the past 30 days, signaling that traders overall wanted to hold their crypto rather than sell it for other assets.

But given Binance’s trading volumes (~$24 billion) in the previous 24 hours were six times higher than Coinbase Pro’s (~$4.23 billion) at press time — as per data collected from CoinMarketCap — the probability of an interim Bitcoin price drop appeared high.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.