Bitcoin Whales Are Profiting As ‘Weak Hands’ Sell BTC After Price Correction
High or low, Bitcoin is still being shaken out of small investors and flowing to “millionaire” wallets, data confirms this week. Bitcoin Whales Are Profiting As ‘Weak Hands’ Sell BTC After Price Correction
Bitcoin (BTC) is changing hands fast after its drop to $32,000 and only millionaires are winning, data shows.
Statistics governing wallet balances from Glassnode on Jan. 11 reveal that the main investors “buying the dip” are those with a balance in excess of 1,000 BTC ($36 million).
“Millionaire” Wallets Keep Growing
Compiled by Elias Simos, protocol specialist at blockchain infrastructure provider Bison Trails, the numbers suggest that the wealthy have been profiting from Bitcoin being sold by smaller investors throughout December and January.
“Addresses with more than 1k $BTC continue growing at the expense of all others–even as this most recent downturn is taking effect,” Simos summarized.
“While You Were Selling, Whales Were Gobbling Up Your Bitcoin…”
While the number of wallets with smaller balances decreased as BTC/USD climbed from $19,000 on Dec. 1 to recent highs of $42,000, the 1,000 BTC+ group became an outlier, growing in presence.
The net effect is thus weak hands selling to strong — and the richer the entity, the stronger the hands.
“Don’t be part of the #BTC transfer to billionaires, corporations and hedge funds …. at least not yet,” entrepreneur Alistair Milne warned Twitter followers while responding to Simos’ findings.
Guggenheim Hints It Will Sell BTC
While institutional buy-ins have become the standard narrative of Bitcoin over the past few months, a rogue “weak hands” signal from one of them caught analysts’ attention this week.
As Cointelegraph reported, Guggenheim Partners, which announced a sizable fund allocation to BTC in late November, is allegedly planning to sell some of its holdings already. The trigger came from CIO Scott Minerd, who on Monday said that Bitcoin’s weekend drop provides the impetus to rethink its position.
“Bitcoin’s parabolic rise is unsustainable in the near term. Vulnerable to a setback,” he wrote.
“The target technical upside of $35,000 has been exceeded. Time to take some money off the table.”
His suggestion appeared to confuse market participants, with responses querying the rationale behind the decision, coming just weeks after Guggenheim’s initial entry.
“CIO of huge firm day trading btc? It’s a 5-10yr hold minimum,” macro investor Dan Tapeiro argued.
Institutional uptake comes amid a more fundamental supply and demand squeeze for Bitcoin, with large buyers already outpacing what miners can produce each month. At the same time, miners have stepped up their sales in recent days, in what one theory suggests is some well-earned profit-taking at or near all-time highs.
Bitcoin’s Biggest Plunge Since March Shakes Faith In Crypto Boom
A steep selloff in Bitcoin is fueling concern that the cryptocurrency bubble may be about to burst.
Bitcoin slid as much as 21% over Sunday and Monday in the biggest two-day slide since March. While the digital token recovered some of the losses during the European session, it was still down for the day.
“It’s to be determined whether this is the start of a larger correction, but we have now seen this parabola break so it might just be,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of business development with crypto exchange Luno in Singapore.
Bitcoin has more than quadrupled in the past year, evoking memories of the 2017 mania that first made cryptocurrencies a household name before prices collapsed just as quickly. Prices almost reached $42,000 on Jan. 8 with retail traders and Wall Street investors clamoring for a piece of the action.
Bitcoin slid 12.4% to $33,342.26 as of 8:29 a.m. in New York.
“Time to take some money off the table,” Scott Minerd, chief investment officer with Guggenheim Investments, said in a tweet from his verified Twitter account. “Bitcoin’s parabolic rise is unsustainable in the near term.” In late December, Minerd predicted Bitcoin could eventually reach $400,000.
Bitcoin’s parabolic rise is unsustainable in the near term. Vulnerable to a setback. The target technical upside of $35,000 has been exceeded. Time to take some money off the table. — Scott Minerd (@ScottMinerd) January 11, 2021
True believers in Bitcoin argue the rally this time is different from past boom-bust cycles because the asset has matured with the entry of institutional investors and is increasingly seen as a legitimate hedge against dollar weakness and inflation risk. Others worry that the rally is untethered from reason and fueled by vast swathes of fiscal and monetary stimulus, with Bitcoin unlikely to ever serve as a viable currency alternative.
With so many investors wanting to get rich on Bitcoin, the asset is drawing the attention of regulators. On Monday, the U.K.’s financial watchdog issued a stark warning for consumers looking to profit from crypto: be ready to lose everything.
“Investing in cryptoassets, or investments and lending linked to them, generally involves taking very high risks with investors’ money,” the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement. The FCA’s concerns include price volatility, the complexity of products offered and the lack of consumer protection regulation around many of the products.
Bitcoin Whales Kept Accumulating During Monday’s Crash
Large bitcoin (BTC) investors, popularly known as whales, look to have bought Monday’s price dip, indicating confidence in the ongoing bull market.
The number of bitcoin (BTC, +6.7%) “whale entities” – clusters of crypto wallet addresses held by a single network participant holding at least 1,000 BTC – rose slightly to a new record high of 2,140 on Monday. The increase came even as the cryptocurrency’s price collapsed by more than 20% to hit a low of $30,305.
The violent sell-off was fueled by heavy selling in the spot market and was accompanied by record trading volumes. That, however, did not deter big players from accumulating the cryptocurrency, which rallied by 300% in 2020 and hit a record high of $41,962 over the weekend.
The dip demand suggests that large investors expect the pullback to be short-lived. The cryptocurrency has seen corrections of more than 20% during previous bull markets. Further, the latest bull market is backed by institutional money, compared to previous ones which were more speculative frenzies. As such, occasional price drops are unlikely to scare away the whales.
Whale address numbers have increased by nearly 25% year on year and have risen by 200 in the past two weeks. The bull run could soon resume, as the network remains healthy and other on-chain indicators are biased bullish, as noted by Rafael Schultze-Kraft, CTO of blockchain analytics firm Glassnode.
Also, sell-side liquidity issues, which aided the third quarter’s meteoric rally, could persist, as 78% of all bitcoin (14.5 million BTC) is now illiquid. “It paints a potential bullish picture for bitcoin in the upcoming months, as less bitcoins are available in the network to be bought,” Glassnode said in a recent report.
Weak Hands Crowded Out
Data provided by Glassnode also shows some retail investors or weak hands (investors lacking confidence or resources to hold assets for the long term) have liquidated holdings.
The number of addresses holding less than 0.01 BTC dropped slightly from 8.54 million to 8.53 million total addresses, indicating that some participants responded by selling the drop.
It’s worth noting that metrics based on addresses may not reveal a precise picture, given a single person or entity may hold multiple addresses.
Top 100 Bitcoin Addresses Accumulated $11B More BTC In The Past 30 Days
Bitcoin’s top 100 richest addresses have snapped up almost 350,000 more BTC in the last 30 days.
The top 100 richest Bitcoin addresses are increasingly bullish, accumulating 16% more Bitcoin over the last 30 days.
In total these addresses added 334,000 more Bitcoin to their bags, or around $11 billion worth.
The majority barely reacted to Bitcoin’s recent price drop from $41,000 to below $33,000. Only seven addresses conducted a transfer out of the wallet since the most recent all-time-high on January 10.
Of the addresses that have transacted in the last 30 days, only eight of them have more than ten transactions to their name since December 12.
Perhaps surprisingly, many of the largest addresses are yet to see a bull run, with eight of the top ten having received their first transaction later than September 2018. The newest in the top 100 is only two months old.
They’re not all individual whales however. The addresses include at least ten controlled by exchanges such as Huobi, Binance, Bittrex, and Kraken. The rest are believed to belong to a mix of institutional investors and wealthy hodlers, with it being almost impossible to differentiate between two. What is clear though, is that the big guys are not easily influenced by price or sentiment.
In order to make it into the top echelon of Bitcoin addresses, one must hold more than $336 million in BTC. Around $2.2 billion is required to hit the top ten.
Addresses within this prestigious list have often attracted attention for various reasons, including one that is believed to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto himself.
The third wealthiest address, with an untouched 94,506 BTC, created headlines back in September 2019 after Glassnode reported that 73,000 of the BTC in the wallet had been transferred from Huobi. It was presumed to be the richest non-exchange address.
According to BitInfoCharts, 64 of the top 100 have never seen a single satoshi transferred out.
These addresses, which currently control more than 2.5 million BTC (13.5% of circulating supply) with a value of almost $85 billion dollars, include 15 dormant addresses. Eleven are more than nine years old. Although no one can prove that the 300,000 BTC held by these addresses have been lost, most assume so.
The Real Reason For The Bitcoin And Ethereum Crash
In the case of Bitcoin, signs of the pullback came in the form of a spike in inflows last Monday..
As indicated by the CryptoQuant on-chain monitoring resource, Institution-focused Gemini posted gigantic aggregate inflows of 28,004 BTC ($1.63 billion), suggesting that a major investor planned to sell or have funds ready for sale after prices dropped.
“Watch out for the downside risk from whale dumping”CryptoQuant added in comments to Telegram subscribers.
Bitcoin And Ether Prices Tumble After Hitting Record Highs
Cryptocurrency prices fall sharply as enthusiasm for risky assets pauses.
This year’s furious rally in cryptocurrencies lost steam Tuesday, knocking prices for bitcoin and ether from recent highs, alongside drops in other risky assets including tech stocks.
Bitcoin fell 13% to $48,016 after hitting a record of $58,332 on Sunday, according to CoinDesk. The decline pushed its market cap, the value of all bitcoin in circulation, to $895 billion from more than $1 trillion last week. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by total market value, contracted 14% to $1,540.
A broad turn in markets toward caution, coupled with historically high prices, likely triggered the correction, analysts and investors said.
“The types of moves we were seeing in 2021 were parabolic,” said Joel Kruger, a strategist at cryptocurrency exchange LMAX Digital. “When you see moves like that, it’s obvious these markets are going to be due for a pullback.”
Assets—crypto or otherwise—that gained the most during the pandemic have slipped in recent days as investors bet on economies opening up. U.S. government bond yields have risen to their highest level in a year. When yields on safe bonds rise, that makes speculative assets, such as cryptocurrencies and shares in companies with profits far in the future, less attractive.
There are other catalysts weighing on cryptocurrencies. Over the weekend, the crypto world’s richest advocate, Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk, tweeted that bitcoin and ether “seem high.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this week called bitcoin a highly speculative, inefficient form of digital currency that is often used for illegal transactions, in a newspaper interview. She also signaled that she supported research into a Federal Reserve-backed digital dollar.
Bitcoin and ether are the two leading cryptocurrencies. They operate separately, but are both created when computer “miners” solve complex mathematical equations to unlock or mint new coins.
Bitcoin was created as a store of value and a means to facilitate decentralized transactions. Ether is part of a wider ethereum network, which has a broader focus to store items including financial contracts and applications.
Unlike bitcoin, ether’s supply isn’t capped and its supply schedule is determined by members of ethereum’s community, according to CoinDesk.
Both have been caught in an investing frenzy as traders chased spectacular gains. Advocates see the currencies, independent of governments and central banks, as a hedge against the debasement of traditional fiat currencies. Skeptics dismiss them as speculative.
A steady stream of institutional demand has been credited with driving much of bitcoin’s rally since the start of 2020, when it traded near $7,000. Billionaire hedge-fund managers have disclosed purchases, with Paul Tudor Jones calling it a “great speculation.”
Earlier this month, Tesla disclosed that it bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin for its corporate reserves. Tesla shares ended Tuesday’s session down 2.2% after falling as much as 13% earlier in the day.
Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms also came under pressure. Riot Blockchain Inc. and Marathon Patent Group Inc. both fell more than 20%. Shares of online retailer Overstock.com Inc., which allows payments in bitcoin, fell more than 7%. Silvergate Capital Corp. , a La Jolla, Calif.-based bank that has for several years served crypto firms as a core part of its business, saw shares decline 20%.
Where bitcoin’s price might stabilize is hard to say. Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile and prone to large swings in a single day. Determining a fair value for bitcoin is much harder than valuing stocks, investors say.
“I would guess that a pullback actually adds to its appeal because it takes some of the froth off,” said William Hanbury, a fund manager at U.K.-based Waverton Investment Management.
That said, it can be difficult to tell when bitcoin’s fall might stop, said Mr. Hanbury, who monitors bitcoin but doesn’t hold any in his portfolio. Past corrections have varied widely in their steepness, making it hard to assess when investors might want to add exposure.
“You can kind of end up chasing your tail,” he said.
Bitcoin Drops Below Key $50,000 Level Due To Yellen, Elon Or Maybe Bitcoin Whales?
After a turbulent start to the week, Bitcoin was once again under selling pressure on Tuesday, tumbling below the key $50,000 level.
Some were pointing the finger at Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who labeled Bitcoin an “inefficient” digital currency and one that is often used for illegal transactions, in an interview with the New York Times’ Dealbook on Monday.
“People should beware it can be extremely volatile and I do worry about potential losses that investors could suffer,” said Yellen. She has also made clear her department may be looking closer at Bitcoin’s risks for investors and possibly even regulation.
It isn’t the first time she has directed criticism at the highly popular cryptocurrency and its ilk. While serving as Federal Reserve chair, she called it “highly speculative.
The price of Bitcoin was last down 10% to $48,016, a level it hasn’t tapped in roughly a week, and a 24-hour range has seen the crypto swing between $44,964.49 and $55,053.91. The effect was being felt across a range of cryptocurrencies, with ether, the currency built on top of the ethereum platform, off 15% and XRP, which is pegged to Ripple, down 19%.
Volatility is nothing new to Bitcoin veterans. But this year has seen Bitcoin scale new heights, driven by both institutional buying and speculative hype. Tuesday’s losses bring its year-to-date gain down to 57%, which is still miles ahead of other assets.
Some blame for recent weakness has also been cast at a weekend tweet by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk. He was responding to Pacific Capital Chief Executive Peter Schiff, who commented over Twitter that Bitcoin “which is digital fiat, is even more BS than the paper fiat issued buy central banks. Gold is not BS. It’s real money and better than both!”
Within that thread, Musk responded that money was “just data that allows us to avoid the inconvenience of barter.” Then he added: “That said: BTC & ETC do seem high, lol.”
Some may have winced at those words, given Musk is viewed as a cryptocurrency cheerleader. Bitcoin enthusiasts cheered and prices climbed after the electric-car maker earlier this month announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin, and said in future it would accept payments in the cryptocurrency.
While that sparked some debate about whether that was wise and what it meant for Bitcoin’s status as a legitimate asset, Musk’s company still made $1 billion out of that move.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said while Musk’s “too high” comment may have spooked some investors, he feels it was an “in-joke for followers.
“More importantly the market was ripe for a sharp technical pullback after a parabolic move, the kind that usually comes down under its own weight. There could be further to tumble—a 30% drawdown as we had in January this year would see prices back to $40,000,” he said.
Tesla shares, meanwhile, were under pressure on Tuesday, leading a drop across technology shares. That is after the stock slid 8% on Monday, for a drop of about 21% from a 52-week high, one definition of a bear market.
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