Bitcoin Whales Kept Accumulating During Monday's Crash

Larger investors, or whales look to have reacted differently than retail investors amid this week's bitcoin price drop.

AccessTimeIconJan 12, 2021 at 9:08 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:54 a.m. UTC
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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 “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.

Bitcoin whale entities
Bitcoin whale entities

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.

As of press time, bitcoin is changing hands for around $33,730, up 3.15% on a 24-hour basis, according to CoinDesk 20 data.

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