Investors based in Asia have generally been sellers while those in the US and EU have been buyers for the past two years with only one short exception.
The Bitcoin network’s on-chain activity still appears to be in a bear market as U.S. and E.U. buyers are struggling to stay ahead of sellers based in Asia.
Blockchain analytics firm Glassnode’s latest report on the weekly activity of the Bitcoin (BTC) network shows that the price of the largest crypto by market cap has stayed firmly within the same tight $5,000 range from $37,680 to $42,312. However, on March 22 the asset saw a sudden spike in price which elevated prices to a two-week high.
Overall, the network is in a demonstrable lull according to Glassnode’s weekly review:
“Bitcoin network utilization and on-chain activity remains firmly within bear market territory, albeit is recovering.”
The research concluded that there is a distinct difference in the behavior of the average BTC investor based on their geography. Notably, U.S. and E.U.-based investors have tended to be buyers, whereas Asian investors have tended to be sellers. This tendency has remained consistent since March 2020 with the exception of last November when both sides were buying heavily.
Specifically, Glassnode researcher and report writer “Checkmate” pointed out that U.S. and E.U. investors have offered general bid support for the past two years with heavy buying between late 2020 and early 2021, while “both regions capitulated throughout May-July.” E.U. buyers are currently providing the largest amount of support.
Conversely, Glassnode reported that Asian markets have generally offered lower buying support through Q1-Q3 of 2021 and currently produce heavy selling pressure. However on March 22, co-founder of crypto investment firm Three Arrows Capital Su Zhu tweeted “Asia unironically max bidding BTC,” suggesting that the day’s short-term upswing in price was led by Asia-based traders.
Several on-chain metrics suggest that a bear market is well underway. The number of new entities — or new wallets that are not associated with existing wallets — has been in a gradual upswing since mid-2021. This is a bear market pattern that played out similarly from January 2018 through the first half of 2020. There are currently about 110,000 new entities created on the Bitcoin network per day.
In a bear market, new entity growth increases in a slow and steady way. In bullish periods, new entity growth experiences large spikes like in January 2018 and January 2021.
Transaction volumes of transfers valued at more than $1 million have continued to follow the steep downward trend since the peak last November. Glassnode cautioned that “a severe decline may signal a reduction in network utilization,” further indicating that we have entered a bear market.
As reported last week, long-term holders (LTH) have increased selling pressure, but the overall LTH supply has remained stagnant because an equal proportion of short-term holder (STH) supply has converted, and that trend remains in effect. The LTH supply consists of coins that have not moved for at least 155 days.