Bitcoin's (BTC) onchain activity suggests whales, or investors with ample capital supply and the ability to influence market trends, have been active during the cryptocurrency’s recent move above $35,000.
The number of transactions processed on the Bitcoin blockchain involving a movement of at least $100,000 worth of BTC rose to a year-to-date high of 23,400 last week, according to data tracked by blockchain analytics firm IntoTheBlock.
The cryptocurrency's price topped the $35,000 mark last week, reaching the highest since early May 2022, according to CoinDesk data. The cryptocurrency has since traded sideways, around $34,000, boasting a 107% year-to-date gain. Prices have surged 27% this month, supposedly on the back of spot ETF optimism and increased haven demand.
"The bitcoin spot ETF applications appear to have increased whales' and institutions' appetite for bitcoin," IntoTheBlock said in a newsletter on Friday. "Transactions of over $100k had previously spiked in late June after Blackrock's ETF filing and have now surpassed that level as Bitcoin sets new yearly highs."
"The recent rise in institutional activity might be a harbinger for what comes in 2024," IntoTheBlock added.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is widely expected to approve several spot-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs) early next year. Analysts expect the impending financialization of BTC through ETFs to boost the cryptocurrency's market value to $42,000 and higher.
Blockchain data show retail investors have also become more active in recent weeks.
According to data tracked by Deutsche Digital Assets, small entities' onchain activity index, a metric to gauge retail investor activity, tapped a new-year-to-date high of 1.5 last week.
"We saw an increasing activity both in small and large BTC wallet entities that implies that especially smaller investors are increasingly flocking into the market," André Dragosch, head of research at Deutsche Digital Assets, said in a note to clients. This can be seen in the significant increase in the median value of transfer volumes on the Bitcoin blockchain, which is indicative of small investor participation.
"Note that (new) small investor participation is a necessary condition for a sustained bull market in crypto assets," Dragosch added.
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