Bitcoin Whales Sold Over $1B BTC in Past Two Weeks: CryptoQuant

The selling coincides with net outflows from U.S.-listed bitcoin ETFs in the same period, data shows.

AccessTimeIconJun 19, 2024 at 11:19 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 20, 2024 at 8:01 a.m. UTC
  • Long-term bitcoin holders and miners have been significant sellers of the cryptocurrency in the past two weeks with little indication of renewed buying interest.
  • This trend has been observed through a decrease in UTXO age bands, indicating increased selling activity.
  • Some opine miners are shifting their focus to the booming AI sector due to the diminishing mining rewards post-halving, which may have increased selling activity.

Long-term bitcoin holders and miners were among the biggest sellers of the asset in the past two weeks and show few signs of renewed demand, on-chain analysis firm CryptoQuant said in a Wednesday report shared with CoinDesk.

Wallets tracked by CryptoQuant show whales – a colloquial term for large holders of any token – sold over $1.2 billion worth of BTC in the past two weeks, likely using brokers instead of on the open market.

“Traders are still not increasing their Bitcoin holdings and large holders’ (whales) demand growth is still missing strength,” analysts wrote. “Stablecoin liquidity has continued to slow down, growing at the slowest pace since November 2023.”

These traders have decreased their holdings since BTC prices traded over $70,000 in late May, declining UTXO age bands tracked by CryptoQuant show.

Unspent output from bitcoin transactions, or UTXO, are created in every Bitcoin transaction is used by traders to track buying and selling patterns in the previous, current and upcoming market cycles. A drop in UTXO age usually indicates an increase in Bitcoin activity, and thus selling. A rise suggests more holding in the market.

UTXO age bands show lack of demand. (CryptoQuant)
UTXO age bands show lack of demand. (CryptoQuant)

Market observers say miners may be increasingly looking at the booming artificial intelligence (AI) sector instead of bitcoin to ply their trade, leading to selling their bitcoin rewards instead of holding. Both sectors extensively rely on powerful computing chips to generate and maintain data—a resource that miners already possess.

"One of the biggest trends since Bitcoin halving this year is that miners are increasingly diverting to AI business," shared Lucy Hu, senior analyst at crypto wealth management company Metalpha in a Telegram message. "The fall of the mining rewards prompted miners to seek other channels to boost revenue. With AI firms demanding energy-intensive data centers, Bitcoin miners are gradually growing revenue from the sales with AI firms."

Since June 5, BTC prices have fallen from $71,000 to just over $65,000 as of Wednesday on a strong dollar, a flight away from riskier assets, and growth in traditional stock indices. Meanwhile, U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking the asset recorded net outflows of over $600 million last week—their worst performance since late April.

Some traders have warned of a move to as low as $60,000 in the absence of growth catalysts.

BTC is down 0.6% in the past 24 hours, CoinDesk data shows. The broad-based CoinDesk 20 (CD20), an index of the largest tokens, is up 1.2%.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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