The Supply Transparency Report brings visibility to the actions of the key categories of a cryptoasset’s holders that are deemed to restrict supply from the market, as defined in the CMBI Float Adjustment Methodology.
The current universe of cryptoassets that are covered in this report is reflective of those that Coin Metrics administers Free Float Supply values for, which includes: 0x, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin SV, Cardano, Chainlink, Crypto.com Coin, DASH, Decred, Digibyte, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, FTX Token, Huobi Token, Litecoin, MakerDAO, NEO, Stellar, Tezos, XRP and Zcash.
Note: for all of the monthly and quarterly U.S. Dollar values herein, an approximate aggregate quarterly value has been calculated by taking the net supply added or removed each day and multiplying it by that specific date’s Coin Metrics End of Day (00:00 UTC) Reference Rate.
The additional net value added to cryptoasset markets through Q4 2020 was $4.70B, representing more than a 3x increase from the previous quarter ($1.17B). The most significant reasons for this material increase are:
- The increase in value of most cryptoassets during the quarter. For example, Bitcoin’s price almost tripled during Q4, meaning that the value of new supply (Bitcoin mined daily) increases. Ethereum experienced a similar effect.
- The seizure of 69,370 Bitcoin on 3 November, 2020 (~$1bn at the time of movement), tied to the new defunct Silk Road, that sat idle in an address since April 2013. Once the Bitcoin were sent to the US Department of Justice, they became re-activated on chain and, by the Free Float Methodology, are considered liquid supply in the market once again.
- Significant increases in the quarterly change in free float supply (native unites) of Stellar Lumens (158%), Chainlink (140%) and XRP (60%).
The largest contributors to this quarterly increase in free float supply value were Bitcoin ($2.28B), XRP ($918M) and ETH ($630M).
The cryptoassets with the highest free float annual inflation rate (denominated in native units) over the last year were FTX Coin (106%), Crypto.com Coin (79%), Zcash (38%) and 0x (25%). Over the same period, Huobi Token (-24%), Dogecoin (1.1%) and Bitcoin (2.3%) had the lowest annual inflation rate.
Note: In March 2020, Huobi conducted an irregular burn of 54.8M HT from the Investor Protection Fund
The net value of cryptoassets that moved outside of identified Foundation/Company controlled addresses was $976M during Q4 2020, up 39% (or $285M) from the previous quarter. The primary reason for the increase this quarter is attributed to the increased activity of Ripple and Stellar Lumen Foundation addresses, which transacted $555M and $245M respectively (up from $200M and $53M in Q3). This being said, in native units the increases, whilst still significant, were more modest. Ripple Foundation addresses transacted 50% more than they did in Q3 and the Stellar Lumen Foundation addresses transacted 164% more than in Q3.
Note: Company/Foundation asset sales can be conducted for many reasons, including but not limited to operating expenses, team member/advisor vesting, strategic long term partnership/BD, scheduled and unscheduled token burns, strategic investments and treasury management. Companies/Foundations may also behave differently, either choosing to issue large volumes infrequently or issue on an as needs basis. Further, movement of assets from Foundation/Company controlled addresses does not necessarily mean assets have been sold (e.g. distribution to team members, burns, strategic placements, community incentive programs, etc).
Note: In March 2020, Huobi Foundation burned $422M worth of HT
The net value of cryptoassets that moved outside of identified Company Team addresses increased to $502M during Q4 2020, up a staggering $425M from the previous quarter (553%). The two most significant contributors to this increase were:
- XRP team addresses that transacted $349M, up 229% from $106M in the previous quarter, and
- Chainlink team addresses that transacted $144M up 146% from $59M in the previous quarter
Note: Movement out of Team controlled addresses does not necessarily mean assets have been sold, but rather can be an indication of activity (e.g. movement to passive yield generating tools such as Compound).
Free Float Supply Overview
During Q3 2020, transactions from ZRX Foundation and ZRX team owned addresses were down from their one year averages. The ZRX foundation transacted only 6.0M ZRX during Q4, down from an one year average of 34.2M ZRX, whilst team owned addresses transacted only 1.6M ZRX, down from a one year average of 3.1M ZRX. Whilst hard to fully understand the rationale, during Q2 and Q3 both foundation and team addresses leveraged their ZRX into new opportunities enabled by DeFi, such as collateral posting and yield farming. One possible explanation is that this activity/high yielding opportunities have subsided or they allocated as much as they are willing to during Q2 and Q3.
The net impact of Foundation and Team ZRX transactions was an increase to the Free Float Supply of 7.6M ZRX, a decrease from the previous three quarters (Q1; 50.5M, Q2: 45.9M , Q3: 45.2M).
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Throughout Q4, the rate of Basic Attention Token free float inflation continued to increase at a pace very similar to the previous three quarters, with 36.3M new BAT entering circulation.
The majority of restricted supply that entered the market can be attributed to the ‘BAT: UPG Reserve’, which withdrew ~20M BAT, sending the majority to Uphold.com tagged addresses. By contrast, identified team addresses activity actually experienced net inflows for the first time ever during Q4, with 700K BAT, returning to team addresses from DeFi applications such as Compound.
Bitcoin had its largest change in free float in the last year after a significant amount of BTC (69,370) moved on-chain for the first time since 2013, proving their activeness and potential to add liquidity to markets in the short term. These funds were identified as the proceeds from Silk Road seized by the US Department of Justice. Further adding to new supply were the Bitcoin added from mining operations, totalling 82,373 for Q4. This represents the least amount of Bitcoin that has ever been mined during a quarter.
The net impact of these along with new Bitcoin that were added to the >5yr inactive band resulted in a net change to Bitcoin’s Free Float of 140K BTC, up from 39K BTC in the previous quarter.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash Free float was up materially during the during Q4, with 82.2M BCH entering free float supply through mining related activities and an additional 161K BCH that were activated for the first time since the BCH Fork. This represents a 109% increase from Q3. A material portion of the new supply that was active for the first time since the Bitcoin/Bitcoin Cash Fork was identified as the proceeds from Silk Road seized by the US Department of Justice.
The net impact of these changes was a 243K increase in the free float supply of BCH available to markets.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
Bitcoin Gold Free Float increased the most of all Bitcoin forks, rising 334K BTG throughout Q4. Similar to the other Bitcoin’s only 82K BTG entered the market through mining activities. This is likely the number that we expect for the coming years as Bitcoin Gold is early in the 6.25 BTG mining reward era. The other contributor to the increase in free float was the large amount of BTG (252K) that became active for the first time ever since the Bitcoin/Bitcoin Gold Fork. This number is up significantly from Q2 (77K) and Q3 (78K).
Bitcoin SV (BSV)
Bitcoin SV’s free float supply increased 270K during Q4 2020. The new issuance of Bitcoin SV from mining related activities was 82.3K BSV during the quarter. As with all Bitcoin forks, Bitcoin SV is early in the 6.25 BSV block reward era and as such we expect that this value will remain relatively steady for the coming years. The other 188K BSV came from new supply that was activated for the first time since the Bitcoin Cash/Bitcoin SV Fork. This amount is in line with the Q3 where 179K BSV entered the market.
Cardano experienced its second quarter under the new Shelley upgrade, which introduced a Proof of Stake consensus and a mechanism for inflation that previously did not exist. As a result of the new inflationary mining rewards, the total on-chain supply of Cardano increased 177M ADA during Q4.
However, this was only a portion of the new supply that entered Cardano’s free float, with 194M ADA being transacted from foundation owned addresses and 30M being transacted from addresses identified as belonging to team members.
All these factors resulted in a net increase in the total free float supply of Cardano, up 396M ADA during Q4. This was a 35% decrease from Q3, but an increase from the pre Shelley era where the average increase in free float was ~100M ADA quarterly.
Chainlink’s Free Float Supply experienced its largest increase since Q3 2019, with an additional 12.0M LINK added during Q4, an increase of 7M from the previous quarter. The entirety of the increase in free float supply can be attributed to transactions from team identified addresses.
Crypto.com Coin (CRO)
During Q4 2020, the Free Float Supply of CRO increased 356M, representing an increase of 91% from Q3. During the quarter, both foundation and team identified address balances reduced as they transacted to wallets identified to be more liquid. Foundation transactions during Q4 were the lowest level in recent history, with 333M moved from wallets. By contrast, Q4 was the first time team identified addresses had net outflows, with 23M leaving identified addresses.
DASH’s issuance from mining related activities in Q4 was 161K DASH, in line with Q3 values after the adjustment to a ~6.0% inflation rate which occurred during Q2. During the quarter, there were 9.6K DASH that were identified as being inactive for over 5 years and as belonging to long term strategic investors or lost supply. The net result of the two aforementioned factors was an increase in DASH’s free float supply of 151K for the quarter.
Another 373K DCR was added to the Free Float Supply during Q4 2020, with 363K coming from newly mined DCR. For the second consecutive quarter, there were net inflows to foundation owned addresses, reducing the free float supply by 367 DASH. Identified Decred team member address activity resulted in an increase of 10K DASH to the free float supply during Q4.
The Free Float Supply of Digibyte increased 301M DGB in Q4, a decrease of 24% from Q3 but still double the increase from Q2. Inflation from Digibyte mining related inflation continues to decrease every quarter, with 295M added in Q4, down from 304M in Q3. For the second consecutive quarter, the net change to addresses that have been inactive for over 5 years was negative, with an additional 6.4M DGB becoming active during Q4.
Dogecoin returned to inflation during Q4, with 930M DOGE entering free float supply. The most significant factor influencing DOGE’s inflation continues to be mining related activities, with ~1.25B added every quarter from block rewards. However, as was the case for every quarter during 2020, there was a net increase, 330M DOGE in Q4, to the DOGE that became inactive for over 5 years. This supply is considered to belong to long term strategic holders or lost, as defined in the CMBI Adjusted Free Float Methodology.
After the first quarterly decrease in Ethereum’s Free Float Supply since 2015, Ethereu returned to experiencing an increase in the free float supply, with an additional 1.26M ETH added during Q4. This increase is in line with the first two quarters of 2020. The reason for the decrease in Q3 was due to the Ethereum blockchain aging 5 years and the first wallets being identified as long term or strategic investors that do not add liquidity to markets. However, after 1.9M were identified in Q3, largely from addresses that had not transacted since genesis, only an additional 98K were identified during Q4.
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
The Free Float Supply of Ethereum Classic fell for the first time in 2020, decreasing 3.4M ETC during Q4. Whilst the inflation of ETC from mining related activities was largely in line with previous quarters (1.9M ETC), it was addresses totalling 5.4M ETC that were identified as being inactive for over 5 years that resulted in the decrease to free float.
FTX Token (FTT)
During Q4, the free float supply of FTX Token increased 10.7M, in line with the quarterly average throughout 2020. Q4 also represented the largest total quarterly FTT burn in 2020, with 2.3M tokens being sent to the 0x000..000 address. As was the case for all of 2020, despite the burns, the increase in free float has been the result of FTX Treasury continuing to incur net outflows which totaled 13.0M FTT during the quarter.
Huobi Token (HT)
Huobi Token continues to be one of the most consistent deflationary assets in the crypto market, recording a reduction in free float supply every quarter of 2020. During Q4, the HT free float supply reduced 9.9M. This was comprised of:
- Huobi continued to conduct on-chain burns of HT, sending tokens to the 0x000…000 address which received 13.2M HT during the quarter.
- The Huobi Foundation transacting 3.3M HT from foundation owned addresses into more liquid markets.
Through 2020, Huobi burned an astonishing 199M HT, of a total 500M HT that exist on chain. 52M of the burned HT was from routine token burning (Huobi purchase and burn tokens with a portion of revenue) and 147M HT was burned as a one off from the Platform Operations and the Investor Protection Fund in Q1 2020.
Litecoin’s free float supply increased 670K LTC during Q4, an increase of 26% from the previous quarter (534K).
This increase to free float also marks the highest quarterly increase in 2020, which is largely the outcome of 13K LTC that previously belonged to long term and strategic holders becoming active. This is in contrast to the previous 3 quarters where an average of 180K per quarter was taken out of supply as it grew older than 5 years and was thus considered not part of the free float supply of LTC. The newly mined supply of LTC from mining related activities was in line with Q3, totaling 657K newly minted LTC.
The Free Float Supply of MakerDAO increased by 115K MKR during Q4 2020. This was the only quarterly increase in free MakerDAO free float during 2020, with the other three quarters totaling a free float reduction of 54K MKR. The reason this increase in Free Float was experienced was due to MakerDAO changing their Governance contract address, requiring users to unstake from the old contract and restake into the new contract. This occurred late in 2020 and many users that unstaked have yet to elect to restake their MKR in the new contract.
Interestingly, during Q4, MakerDAO also experienced its largest reduction in on chain supply, with 8.4K being bought back from DAI generated fees and burned during the quarter.
The NEO free float supply had its first quarterly decrease in Q4, with 1.3M NEO leaving liquid markets as defined by the CMBI Float Adjustment Methodology. This decrease can solely be accounted for by Foundation owned addresses which received 1.3M back during the quarter. All of this supply seems to have come from the relatively new NEO DeFi application, Flamingo (foundation transaction here). Note that during Q3, the NEO foundation had net outflows of 5.5M, most of which was sent to addresses that interacted with the Flamingo DeFi application.
Stellar Lumens (XLM)
The Stellar Lumen free float supply increased 1.5B XLM during Q4 2020, which was more XLM introduced to liquid markets than in the other three quarters of 2020 combined. This increase can basically be entirely attributed to the net outflows of XLM from Stellar Foundation controlled addresses to more liquid addresses (1.54B). During September, the Stellar Lumen network turned 5 years old, which resulted in the first addresses which have not displayed activity in 5 years appearing on-chain. During Q4, 40M XLM was identified as belonging to addresses that have been inactive for over 5 years and as such was removed from free float during the quarter.
The Tezos total on-chain supply increased 12.1M during Q4 as a result of the Baking process and from individuals that continue to claim their allocation from the ICO which was back in 2018. Of this, 1.3M was baked by Tezos Foundation addresses, resulting in a 10.8M increase to the free float supply throughout the quarter (+12.1M to current supply – 1.3M restricted supply belonging to the foundation).
The XRP free float supply increased 1.9B during Q4 2020, a 60%, or 1.2B XRP, increase from the previous quarter. The largest contributor of extra liquidity to the market during the quarter was the Ripple Foundation, whose addresses had a net outflow of 1.2B tokens, a fairly significant portion of which ended up on exchanges. This represents the largest net outflow from Foundation addresses in 2020, with the previous three quarters averaging 1.0B per quarter. There was also a 73% increase this quarter in the amount of XRP that left addresses controlled by Founding Team members, up to 697M XRP from 407M in Q3 and 307M in Q2. There further add to the increase in free float for Q4, there were also 18M XRP that were in addresses that became active after over 5 years of inactivity.
Zcash free float supply increased 1.17M ZEC during Q4, representing the highest quarterly increase during 2020. ZCash underwent its first block halving event in November of 2020 which led to the quarterly issuance from mining related activity falling to 503K in Q4. We should expect to see this number fall further in Q1 2020 as it will be the first full quarter under the new issuance schedule.
The reason for the increase in free float was due to the actions of Zcash foundation owned addresses which had net outflows of 107K, representing the total balance of their addresses. Note it is unknown if this balance was sent to new Zcash foundation addresses due to Zcash’s shielded transactions (privacy works!).
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