Spent Output Age Bands (SOAB)

Spent Output Age Bands (SOAB) is a metric that bundles spent coins into categories depending on their age and presents them in colour bands as a proportion of total coins moved.

Indicator Overview

Spent Output Age Bands (SOAB) is a metric that bundles spent coins into categories depending on their age and presents them in colour bands as a proportion of total coins moved. Each band represents the percentage of spent outputs that were created within the time period denoted in the legend.

SOAB is a useful tool for identifying periods of time or trends where on-chain transactions are dominated by younger, or older coins. The metric demonstrates the age of coins that are moving, and thereby highlights whether market movements are influenced by long-term HODLers or newer market participants.

  • Cooler colours will fill a larger portion of the chart area on days where more old coins were spent.

  • Warmer colours will fill more of the chart area on days where younger coins were spent.

More detailed analysis on particular sub-sets of age bands can be achieved by turning off/on different legend items.

How is it measured?

Spent output age bands are measured by calculating the age of coins that have been transacted within the specified time window and presenting as a proportion of the daily total spends.

Spent Outputs=value (of all spent outputs where tspenttcreated is in selected age band)\begin{align*} \textrm{Spent Outputs} = \textrm{value}~&{\color{gray}{\textrm{(of all spent outputs where}}} \\ &{\color{gray}{~\textrm{$t_\textrm{spent} - t_\textrm{created}$ is in selected age band)}}} \end{align*}

SOAB aggregates and stacks the following age bands:

  • <1h

  • 1-24h

  • 1d-1w

  • 1w-1m

  • 1-3m

  • 3-6m

  • 6-12m

  • 1-2y

  • 2-3y

  • 3-5y

  • 5-7y

  • 7-10y

  • >10y

Video Tutorial

User Guide

SOAB provides a macro overview of the proportion of daily spending for various coin age categories. As shifts occur in spending behaviour (e.g. long-term holders increasing their spending), these changes will show up as increased colour dominance within the chart.

This metric can be utilised for both aggregate big picture analysis as well as more detailed analysis of a specific sub-set of age brackets (e.g. viewing only coins spent which are older than 1-year).

SOAB can generally be considered within the following framework:

  • Older coins (cool colours) are more likely to be held by smart money investors who have strong fundamental knowledge about the asset and protocol. Long term holders typically accumulate coins which are considered cheap in bear markets and realise profits during bull markets.

  • Spending of old coins often increases around periods of market volatility and may suggest a change in conviction to hold the asset, and the re-activation of dormant coins back into liquid circulation.

  • Younger coins (warm colours) typically dominate day-to-day network traffic and are typically associated with speculators, newer market entrants and day traders. These entities are assumed to be more sensitive to price volatility and thus more likely to re-spend coins in response to volatility.

  • Spending of young coins may signal a a state where long term holders prefer to HODL their coins, and thus may suggest increased accumulation and/or higher confidence to hold the asset.

Note that over time, coins can accumulate longer lifespans as the protocol continues operation. For example, coins older than three years can only exist after the protocol has been in operation for three years. As such interpretation of fractals in relation to previous periods should consider the minimum age of coins at the time.

Example Application

The legend items for the SOAB metric can be clicked to turn on/off different age bands. This provides a more detailed analysis for specific coin age clusters of interest. The chart below presents a view where all spent age bands younger than 1-year are turned off, making the spending patterns of older coins stand out clearly.

We can see that older coins are often spent during bull markets as profits are realised, and around market extremes such as local tops, global tops and capitulation events. This provides insight into periods when smart money investors with long time horizons are re-activating dormant coins. This event may impact the liquid circulating supply if the coins are sold to the market.

  • Default for aggregate overview of spending behaviour.

  • Turning off and on various lifespan categories for more detailed insights, particularly for viewing spending patterns of older age categories.


Coined By

Glassnode (October 2019)

Further Resources

Glassnode - SOAB Announcement

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