On-chain data revealed that the bitcoin holdings of larger investors – typically referred to as whales – have been on the decline for the past several months.
At the same time, smaller investors’ BTC bags are on the rise, tapping a fresh all-time high.
Whales Vs. Retail
Santiment classifies BTC investors holding between 100 to 10,000 as whales and outlined in a recent post that their possessions have been gradually decreasing for the past several months.
They were declining in September as well, but the trend reversed at the end of the month and coincided with a brief bitcoin pump. However, as BTC failed to continue upwards, they began disposing of their assets and currently hold just 45.6% of the entire supply, a 3-year low.
🐳 #Bitcoin‘s small to mid-sized addresses (holding 0.1 to 10 $BTC) hold an #AllTimeHigh 15.9% of the coin’s available supply. Meanwhile, whales (holding 100 to 10k $BTC) are at a 3-year low at 45.6% of the supply. #Stablecoin marketcaps are at a 2022 low. https://t.co/hesuwUf08X pic.twitter.com/Mcz23KQ4c7
— Santiment (@santimentfeed) October 18, 2022
At the same time, the analytics company noticed a substantial difference in the behavior of retail investors (such holding between 0.1 and 10 BTC). Their holdings have been increasing even though the market has tumbled since the start of the year.
This is particularly interesting as retail generally sells when the market cools off and buys when the hype returns. Santiment’s data shows an entirely different landscape now, with whales selling and retail accumulating. In fact, the latter have reached an all-time high, currently in possession of 15.9% of BTC’s available supply.
Stablecoins on the Decline
Stablecoins are the preferred investment tool from market participants in times of uncertainty, but this has not been the case recently, either.
When new investors turn to such assets, their market cap expands, and vice-versa. According to Santiment, the market capitalizations of the two largest stablecoins – USDT and USDC – have been shrinking lately, from over $121 billion in early August to $113 billion today. That’s a decline of 6.6% in a matter of two months.
CoinMarketCap’s data is even more painful. It says that Tether’s market cap was above $83 billion on August 5, which was an all-time high. As of now, it struggles below $70 billion.
USDC’s case is similar – $55 billion two months ago and $44 billion now.
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