Retail Investors Are Sleeping on Bitcoin's March Towards All-Time Highs: IntoTheBlock

Metrics that previously signaled retail froth are still at low levels, suggesting that this phase of bitcoin's rally is driven by institutional investors, IntoTheBlock analysts said.

AccessTimeIconFeb 28, 2024 at 6:49 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:22 p.m. UTC
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  • On-chain data, web searches show muted participation from retail investors during bitcoin's rally over $60,000, IntoTheBlock analysts noted.
  • "This suggests that institutional investors could be steering this phase," the analysts said.

Retail investors are sleeping on bitcoin's (BTC) rapid rally towards its all-time high, topping $60,000, crypto analytics firm IntoTheBlock noted Wednesday, citing metrics that signaled retail froth during the previous bull market run.

IntoTheBlock analysts pointed to middling web page searches for bitcoin on Google and application downloads. Notably, crypto exchange Coinbase's app rose to the number one spot by downloads in Apple's U.S. app store in late October 2021, coinciding with the market peak for BTC and many other cryptocurrencies.

Transaction volume on the Bitcoin blockchain has been increasing, analysts added but is nowhere near the levels experienced during market peaks in 2021.

Similarly, the number of new Bitcoin addresses is steady and has cooled from a spike late last year, likely due to the Ordinals frenzy. The Ordinals protocol allows users to store non-fungible tokens (NFT) on Bitcoin called inscriptions and saw a surge last year in popularity, clogging the network and driving up transaction fees.

Bitcoin on-chain volume (IntoTheBlock)
Bitcoin on-chain volume (IntoTheBlock)

"Despite bitcoin's incredible price movement, current data indicates a quiet retail front," IntoTheBlock analysts said in an X post on Wednesday. "This suggests that institutional investors could be steering this phase. Eyes are on ETFs as potential accumulators."

Bitcoin surged nearly 50% in a month, surpassing $60,000 on Wednesday for the first time since Nov. 2021, while the CoinDesk20 Index (CD20) rose 33% during the same time frame.

The price surge was mainly driven by strong inflows into U.S.-listed spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF). Since their debut in January, bitcoin ETFs attracted over $6.7 billion in net inflows led by BlackRock's IBIT, according to data compiled by BitMex Research.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

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