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Bitcoin whales are moving their coins. One Bitcoin millionaire transferred $319 million worth of BTC to an unknown wallet on July 21st as turbulent market conditions persist.

According to Whale Alert, billions of dollars worth of crypto coins were moved over the last 7 days. Among these big transactions was a notable transfer of 14,000 BTC to an unknown wallet.

On Thursday 21 July, $319 million worth of BTC was transferred and recorded on Blockstream.info. In fact, whale transfers picked up the pace over the weekend, with another leading address moving 3,374 BTC from Coinbase to an unknown wallet on July 24th.

Top BTC address holdings. Source: Coinmarketcap

Whale wallets tend to play an important role in on-chain activity across the Bitcoin network given their relatively large aggregate holdings. Roughly 14% of the Bitcoin supply is owned by the top 100 BTC addresses, per data from Coinmarketcap.

Of these whale holdings, less than 200,000 BTC are now owned by publicly listed companies. Last week, Tesla’s earnings report showed that the company sold $936 million worth of bitcoin, or 75% of its holdings (31,500 Bitcoin), in the second quarter of 2022. Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy has held onto its 130,000 Bitcoin, per data from Bitcoin Treasuries.

Bitcoin Holdings – publicly listed companies. Source: Bitcoin Treasuries

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Turbulent Market Conditions

The modest comeback in the last week comes at a time of severely depressed market conditions. The overall market is recovering from the aftermath of a liquidity and insolvency crisis, which saw BTC dropping over 70% from all time highs in November 2021.

Amid the crisis, FTX emerged as the crypto ‘lender of last resort’, with the company going on a buying spree to acquire as many crypto firms as possible during the downturn. In an interview with CNBC last Friday, FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried (SBF), said that FTX is willing to spend “hundreds of millions” to help distressed crypto firms.

However, in a chapter 11 court filing, distressed crypto firm Voyager called FTX’s proposal a “low-ball bid dressed up as a white knight rescue.”

Meanwhile, Celsius Network published documents in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that delineate a plan for financial restructuring. Among other initiatives, the company will expand its Bitcoin mining infrastructure in a bid to adjust to market conditions and regain normal function. The distressed firm is battling multiple lawsuits, with various allegations being levied against the CEO Alex Mashinsky.

These unsavoury crypto happenings tend to come to light during bear-market capitulation events which are characterised by forced selling. According to Glassnode’s latest on-chain analysis report, “the proportion of transfer volume in profit (BTC) also has a market structure similar to previous bear market lows.”

During the 2015 and 2018 capitulation phases, over 58% of transfer volume was realising a loss, and momentum had compressed after months of bearish price action. At the moment, 54% of the transfer volume is in loss (46% in profit), which is very close to 2015/18 recovery levels.

Bitcoin exchanges hands at $22,000 at the time of publishing.


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