Although the number of bitcoin (BTC) whales is growing, it looks like some of the crypto world’s biggest players now hold less BTC now than they did four years ago. They also hold less wealth in USD terms than they did three years ago, per a recent report from blockchain analytics firm Glassnode.
The firm did not specify how this wealth has deacreased exactly, promising to share more numbers “soon.”
“The bitcoin whale population keeps growing,” writes the Glassnode team. This population of traders holding BTC 1,000 (around USD 9.53 million) or more has seen a “near-consistent” growth since January this year, and this despite market volatility in the first part of 2020 – which peaked during the March crash, known as Black Thursday.
There are currently 1,882 entities that hold at least BTC 1,000, says the firm.
Prior to this, September 2017 was the last point when so many entities held this much bitcoin. Importantly, this was the time when the price of the world’s oldest coin went through a major and fast appreciation, shooting upwards toward USD 20,000.
“Perhaps more interestingly,” says Glassnode, the last time this many whales were spotted out in the wild was in March 2016, when BTC’s price was still under USD 420. Since March 2016, BTC price has fone on to become 20 times higher, which would theoretically mean that whales hold more wealth.
However, there is a “but.”
Since then, the average balance held by each whale has decreased to the extent that “whales actually hold less BTC now than in 2016, and less wealth (in USD terms) than in 2017.”
Whales matter, given the vast amount of bitcoin they hold, hence their potential influence over the price of this coin. Their movements also tend to cause chain reactions by causing market panic. According to Ki Young Ju, CEO of investment data provider CryptoQuant, legitimate whales control prices. Just yesterday Cryptonews.com reported that BTC dipped below that important USD 9,000 level. Part of the cause behind the recent dip, then, might be whales closing positions and other investors in the market reacting to it.
Per Ki’s tweet, a look at the reserves of crypto exchange Gemini, reveals that we’re now in a bear market.
— Ki Young Ju (@ki_young_ju) June 15, 2020
Meanwhile, in April this year, Glassnode reported that the number of whales with at least BTC 1,000 in their wallets had reached its highest point in more than two years – at almost 1,850 entities.
Bitcoin is currently (9:25 UTC) trading at USD 9,527. It appreciated 4.28% in the last 24 hours and dropped 1.53% in the last week.
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