Considering the total number of bitcoins in circulation is 18.14 million, this also means nearly 60 percent of the coins remained dormant and only 40 percent participated in the price action seen in 2019. The percentage of bitcoins lying dormant for over a year is at its highest level since early 2017.
“HODLing” has returned to a major milestone: The total number of bitcoins that haven’t changed hands in more than a year has crossed the 10 million mark.
About 10.7 million bitcoins haven’t moved in more than 12 months, according to Digital Assets Data, a fintech company building crypto data feeds.
“The sheer size of unmoved bitcoin is definitely a sign of the developing community of HODLers”, Kadan Stadelmann, chief technology officer at Komodo Platform, told CoinDesk.
The top cryptocurrency witnessed substantial swings last year, rising from $3,693 to $13,879 in the first six months only to fall back to $7,179 by mid-December. Thus, bitcoin just about doubled last year despite the brutal sell-off in the second half.
Even so, a large number of bitcoins remained inactive, possibly because investors are expecting a significant price rise following the mining reward halving, due in May. The process, repeated every four years, reduces block rewards by half in order to keep inflation under check.
However, if the market doesn’t live up to lofty expectations, some selling could be seen, Stadelmann said. In that case, the sum of bitcoins lying dormant would drop.
Another strong reason for the growing number of bitcoins lying dormant could be that a sizable portion of HODLers are doing so at a loss and are holding on to their investments.
“Many investors are potentially still underwater with bitcoin that was purchased at higher prices in 2017 and 2018”, said Kevin Kaltenbacher of Digital Assets Data.
Prices higher than the 2019 high of $13,879 were observed during the December 2017-February 2018 rally, and many investors may have acquired coins during that bull market frenzy.
However, the fact these investors have not sold indicates they are likely betting on long-term growth prospects.
CFTC Cannot Locate Man Responsible for Over $140 Million Crypto Ponzi
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is having trouble locating Benjamin Reynolds, who is allegedly responsible for a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme worth over $140 million.
Financial news outlet FinanceFeeds reported on Jan. 6 that the CFTC has filed a motion with the New York Southern District Court. More precisely, the regulator filed for the service of process on Reynolds by publication on The Daily Telegraph and extending for sixty days the time limit by which the service must be effected on him and his firm.
A major Bitcoin ponzi scheme
In mid-June, the CFTC launched action against the company over an alleged $147 million Bitcoin Ponzi. The CFTC filed against the Reynolds with the aforementioned court for allegedly defrauding over a thousand investors of at least 22,858 Bitcoin.
In a memorandum accompanying the motion, the regulator reportedly explains that it attempted to serve Reynolds at the address listed as his “service address” in the incorporation papers of Control Finance, the firm that managed the scheme. When the process server arrived at the address, he discovered that it does not actually exist.
The CFTC also tried to email Reynolds at the only known email address associated with him and his company, but got back an error message indicating that the message could not be delivered. The regulator learned from affected investors that the Ulsan District Prosecutors’ Office in South Korea is also investigating the scheme, but had similarly failed to contact Reynolds.
Scammers have long been using the speculative enthusiasm surrounding cryptocurrencies to lure in and defraud unsuspecting investors. As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin scam ads featuring the likeness of Martin Lewis have continued to appear on social media despite Lewis’ previous efforts to prevent such illegal practices.
One particularly famous cryptocurrency-related scam is OneCoin, which was a $4 billion pyramid scheme. The scam was first discovered in May 2015. However, proceedings are still ongoing, and OneCoin’s website shut down only at the beginning of December last year.