Top 100 Bitcoin (BTC) Addresses Increase Their Holdings

Over the past few months, addresses mostly belonging to exchanges have increased their stashes of BTC, signaling changes in market liquidity.

Bitcoin (BTC) whales are known to often purchase more coins whenever the price drops and sell only during a bull run, which is how exchanges typically operate as well. Over the last two months, however, exchanges were not the entities buying up coins amid the current bear market for Bitcoin.

A comparison of archival snapshots of the top 100 BTC rich list—one from the end of December and one from today—shows that whales are indeed accumulating more coins, but the addresses associated with the largest purchases do not belong to known exchanges.

In fact, a known Bitfinex cold wallet—one of the top 5 in the world—even sold some of its stock, reducing it from 138,661 BTC at the end of December 2018 to 119,538 BTC. Wallets belonging to exchanges like Huobi and Bittrex either remained static or transferred their coins to other internal addresses.

Meanwhile, the overall balance of wallets containing at least 10,000 coins increased from 2,721,688 to 2,866,220 BTC, which translates to 144,532 coins added, or over $559 million at current values. The capital they accumulated appears to have been transferred from smaller addresses, particularly ones with fewer than 1,000 BTC, as their cumulative balance decreased slightly.

Movements like these usually indicate that a large number of very rich and yet unknown individuals and organizations have decided to go bigger on Bitcoin. Since they often substantially influence the price of the asset, this may push BTC out of its current price range.

At the end of November 2017, one such break-out resulted in a panic wave that dragged the value of Bitcoin down 12% in a matter of minutes due to one whale selling a large batch of BTC through an exchange. The reverse also appears to be true, with big buyers’ behavior also being influenced by the price of the asset.

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