FOMC Minutes Show Uncertainty, Cautious Optimism. Large Bitcoin Investors Are Taking Divergent Paths

The largest and smallest bitcoin whales have added to their holdings, but the group in between has jettisoned some of their tokens.

AccessTimeIconJul 6, 2023 at 9:47 p.m. UTC
  • FOMC officials appear cautiously optimistic about inflation and the economy but also remain concerned about a potential recession
  • Meanwhile bitcoin whales increase in number but display different behavior based on size.

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes released Wednesday from the June meeting suggest that central bankers are uncertain about the economy’s fate in the months ahead.

How their thinking figures in rate hike decisions could profoundly affect crypto markets. Meanwhile the number of bitcoin “whales” has increased, although their distribution has shifted.

June FOMC caution

FOMC minutes show Fed officials cautiously forecasting the possibility of economic recession within the next six months, “followed by a moderately paced recovery”

They also voiced expectations that such a recession would be “neither deep, nor prolonged.”

Still, they appear to be walking a tightrope, with the recent decision to pause rate hikes coming across as a first-do-no-harm approach to monetary policy. The U.S. economy has been more resilient than the FOMC expected. Conflicting economic data has created uncertainty.

For example, at 8:15 a.m. (ET), ADP employment data showed that private business created more than 497,000 jobs in June, the most since February 2022, and well above expectations of 228,000. A mere hour and 45 minutes later, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed an unexpectedly large contraction of job openings during the same period.

Whales differing paths

While the larger investing community wrestles with macroeconomic data, some bitcoin whales have grown in size, even while displaying some of the same uncertainty as the FOMC.

Bitcoin whales are investors holding more than 1,000 BTC. Since June 14, a day before asset management giant BlackRock’s filing for a spot bitcoin ETF, the number of BTC whales has increased 1.6%, reversing a short-term downtrend that began on May 20.

Bitcoin Whales (Glassnode)

The distribution of supply among whales implies differing levels of confidence.

Investors holding 1,000-10,000 BTC have risen 90,396 BTC (2% higher), since June 14. A similar gain occurred among investors holding more than 100,000 BTC. Their supply grew by 3% (107,883 BTC).

But since June 14, the supply of BTC for investors holding between 10,000 and 100,000 BTC has fallen 10% (184,153 BTC). This group views risk differently and has less confidence in bitcoin than the other two whale cohorts.

As the macroeconomic environment comes into focus, investors should monitor which cohort made the more profitable decision.

Edited by James Rubin.


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Glenn Williams

Glenn C Williams Jr, CMT is a Crypto Markets Analyst with an initial background in traditional finance. His experience includes research and analysis of individual cryptocurrencies, defi protocols, and crypto-based funds. He owns BTC, ETH, UNI, DOT, MATIC, and AVAX