New List Claims 1.9 Million Bitcoin Held by Centralized Exchanges
December 3, 2019
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have been discussing a newly developed exchange ranking developed by the crypto portfolio and trading bot startup Bituniverse. According to a leaked screenshot of Bituniverse’s “Exchange Transparent Balance Rank,” there’s roughly 1.9 million BTC held on centralized trading platforms. Bituniverse claims the full list of exchange balance ranks “will be disclosed on December 12.”
There’s $13.9 Billion Worth of BTC Allegedly Stored on Global Exchanges
Last year, on January 3, the community supported the idea of a “Proof of Keys” day after crypto investor Trace Meyer started the withdrawal initiative. However, as January 3, 2020 approaches, it seems that lots of digital currency holders still don’t appreciate the importance of possessing their own keys. This week a leaked photo of the Bituniverse application indicates there’s allegedly 1.9 million BTC ($13.9 billion) currently stored on the world’s most popular exchanges. The balance rank feature is not yet available on the Bituniverse app, but the company says that the full list will be available on December 12. The top two exchanges listed on the Bituniverse “Exchange Transparent Balance Rank (ETBR)” shows that Coinbase allegedly has 966.23K BTC ($7.1 billion) in storage while Bitmex holds roughly 265.14K BTC ($1.9 billion). Other notable exchanges listed on the ETBR include trading platforms Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Kraken, and Poloniex.
According to Bituniverse’s recent tweet, exchanges like Binance, Huobi Global, and Okex will also be included in the December 12 list. The exchanges don’t provide the official data for the ETBR list, as the exchange balances are tracked independently by Peckshield and Etherscan. Bituniverse says they couldn’t have made “[the ETBR] without the help of Peckshield.” After the photo of the Bituniverse ETBR leaked, Trace Meyer tweeted about the situation saying:
1.925m+ Bitcoin supposedly being held at Coinbase, Bitmex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bittrex, Coincheck and Poloniex just waiting to be lost like so many others — Have you tried to withdraw any lately?
Digital currency enthusiasts discussed the exchange balance topic on Reddit as well. When one Redditor created a post that was titled: “Coinbase owns 966.23k Bitcoin, and Bitmex owns 265.14k Bitcoin,” a person commented about how the statement was phrased. “You should put quotation marks around the “owns” — While they have the private keys to these coins, they act more like banks than bitcoiners. Most of these coins are their customers’ deposits,” the Redditor remarked. Other people disagreed and said: “‘Owns’ is the correct term. Not your keys, not your bitcoin. They can get hacked or steal the coins at any time — They own them.” The Bituniverse exchange balance list value is measured in tether (USDT), but it also contains exchange balances in ETH and USDT.
‘Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins’
The ETBR information is not the first time exchanges have been scrutinized for balance holdings. Seven months ago, veiwbase.com published a market analysis report which ranked crypto exchanges by using balances derived from blockchain data. Similar to the ETBR-based list of BTC holdings, Viewbase researched the wallets belonging to exchanges using the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and analyzed their historical balances of ether. They chose ETH because it’s the second-largest crypto market by capitalization and usually captures a lot of trade volume as well. “We ranked exchanges by the amount of ether deposited in their exchange wallets and compared it to their reported trading volumes,” the researchers’ report stressed. In that report, Kraken and Binance were noted as the largest ETH holders with balances over 5.4 million ether ($796 million) combined.
Despite the fact that millions of ETH and BTC are still held on exchanges, Trace Meyer and a slew of others are celebrating “Proof of Keys” day again by telling people to take possession of their assets. “Not your keys not your coins,” the Twitter account ‘Church Of Satoshi’ tweeted on Tuesday. “We’ve been blessed by the coming of Bitcoin, as a way to claim back our monetary sovereignty — Claim it by not letting exchanges manage it for you.” “‘Proof of Keys’ January 3rd countdown begins,” another person wrote. “This day is when all bitcoin owners need to withdraw their bitcoin held in custodial services (exchanges, depository services, buying apps etc), into their own wallets.”
Even though veteran cryptocurrency proponents have been spreading this message for 10 years now, people still store vast amounts of crypto with third-party services that could go under at any moment. Moreover, there’s been seven major cryptocurrency exchange hacks in 2019 where investors lost millions of dollars’ worth of crypto.
What do you think about the alleged 1.9 million BTC held on digital currency exchanges? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.