First Mover Asia: Some Bitcoin Whales Appear Content to Wait for the Next Price Catalyst

PLUS: BTC continued to trade above $29.2K, slightly down over the past 24 hours amid another day of low volatility.

AccessTimeIconJul 28, 2023 at 12:49 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 28, 2023 at 1:48 a.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin continued to hold steady above $29.2K and is unlikely to move much until next year, an analyst says.

Insights: Large bitcoin investors holding between 10 and 100 bitcoin, and between 1,000 and 10,000 BTC, are neither selling nor acquiring more of the asset.


−2.8 0.2%
−78.9 0.3%
−6.8 0.4%
S&P 500
−29.3 0.6%
−22.5 1.1%
Nikkei 225
+222.8 0.7%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)
CoinDesk Market Index (CMI)
1,233 −2.8 0.2%
Bitcoin (BTC)
$29,242 −78.9 0.3%
Ethereum (ETH)
$1,862 −6.8 0.4%
S&P 500
4,537.41 −29.3 0.6%
$1,946 −22.5 1.1%
Nikkei 225
32,891.16 +222.8 0.7%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Bitcoin seems increasingly unlikely to go anywhere fast soon.

As traditional asset markets in Asia opened Friday, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading just above $29,240, down 0.3% over the past 24 hours and roughly where it's stood since a Monday dip triggered by the latest Binance mishap and bad economic news from China.

With a couple of blips under, BTC has been changing hands in a $29,000 to $31,800 range since mid-June – immune from rate hikes, inflationary fears and other macro angst. Brent Xu, the CEO and co-founder of Web3 bond-market platform Umee, told CoinDesk in an email that the status quo is likely to continue.

“Bitcoin barely budged following the Federal Reserve’s most recent rate hike, underscoring that this period of heightened rates has pretty much been priced in," Xu wrote. "This is certainly indicative of BTC resilience and indeed resilience for the broader digital asset market. But I’m not expecting a meaningful breakout to the upside any time soon."

Ether has been similarly inert and was recently trading at $1,862, down 0.4% over the past 24 hours. Other major cryptos were largely in negative territory, albeit not by much with SOL and MATIC, the tokens of smart contract platforms Solana and Polygon, off 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively. Stellar Lumina's XLM token continued its recent upswing, rising 2.9% from Thursday, same time.

Umee's Xu does not expect a return to "bull market conditions" until 2024's BTC halving. "That’s also when we’ll probably start seeing rate cuts happening," he wrote. "Cuts could come sooner, I should caveat, if there’s some sort of breakage that takes place, such as a credit crunch or an acceleration of the banking crisis.”

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Gala GALA +13.7% Entertainment
XRP XRP +8.1% Currency
Avalanche AVAX +3.7% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Stellar XLM −16.8% Smart Contract Platform
Dogecoin DOGE −11.5% Currency
Chainlink LINK −10.8% Computing


Some Bitcoin Whales Are Waiting for Price Moves

The bitcoin supply held by addresses with a balance of between 10 and 100 BTC has taken a slight downward turn, indicating that these larger holders of bitcoin are content to wait at the moment.

Data provided by on-chain analytics firm Glassnode underscores that investors are equal parts reluctant to add or relinquish bitcoin, but also that they do not see BTC as undervalued.

Addresses holding between 1,000 and 10,000 bitcoin are exhibiting similar behavior.

Oddly, the amount of bitcoin held by addresses holding between 10,000 and 100,000 has risen slightly, although for bitcoin’s largest holders with more than 100,000 BTC, the supply balance has remained stable.


Each of these cohorts is worth monitoring as they hold the ability to sway markets given the size of their position, and appetite or lack thereof for risk.

This article was written and edited by CoinDesk journalists with the sole purpose of informing the reader with accurate information. If you click on a link from Glassnode, CoinDesk may earn a commission. For more, see our Ethics Policy.

Important events.

8:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 p.m. UTC): Personal Consumption Expenditures (June/MoM/YoY)

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Edited by James Rubin.


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James Rubin

James Rubin was CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.

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