Bitcoin has often traded like a risky asset over the past few weeks – selling off along with U.S. stocks as bond yields rose, typically in response to nagging worries the Federal Reserve might step in to tighten monetary policy sooner than previously signaled.
But a new analysis of data extracted from the Bitcoin blockchain suggests the risk of a steep sell-off might be capped on the downside by buyers who appear to enter the market whenever prices fall to about $48,000.
There are no signs that such a sell-off is brewing, with bitcoin's price rising Wednesday for a sixth straight day to a two-week high around $57,000. But the new analysis, by the South Korean blockchain-tracking firm CryptoQuant, might give traders comfort that prices aren't likely to revisit the end-of-2020 level of around $29,000 anytime soon.
“Speculative guess, but institutions would buy more if the price is falling," Ki Young Ju, CryptoQuant's CEO, told CoinDesk,
According to CryptoQuant, dips in bitcoin prices to about $48,000 over the past month coincided with unusually large withdrawals from wallet addresses linked to the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase's Coinbase Pro segment:
Those outflows “might be institutional deals through Coinbase's over-the-counter (OTC) service or Coinbase prime,” Ki said. The implication is that the institutional investors might be moving their bitcoins off Coinbase Pro into so-called "cold wallets," typically because they have little intention of selling anytime soon.
So far, $48,000 appears to be an attractive purchase price. Based on a price of $56,000, investors are sitting on returns of roughly 16%.
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