The Whales Are Back in the Picture
Bitcoin whales are individuals who house several million dollars-worth of cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Often, they possess so much in a single account that the slightest maneuver of money could potentially cause the entire industry to suffer a shift of some kind. Usually, the cryptocurrency industry experiences heavy dips or meteoric rises. It all depends greatly on what gets moved and where.
Bitcoin, for the most part, has been relatively volatile since early January. The currency initially started out below the $7,000 mark, but ultimately spiked thanks to rising geopolitical tension between the United States and Iran, CME Group’s introduction of bitcoin futures options, and rising fears of the coronavirus in China.
However, bitcoin’s primary moments of volatility for 2020 have been mostly noticeable during the past week. The currency rose beyond the $10,000 mark, eventually hitting the $10,400 figure. It has since fallen by more than $900, with a few heavy spikes and drops interspersed in the middle (i.e. it was trading at $10,100 again roughly two days ago).
Some analysts are blaming whales yet again, and say they’ve increased their activity over the last seven days to ultimately cause bitcoin to move about like a vast ship during stormy weather.
Right now, we’ve witnessed a repeat of what allegedly occurred during the final four months of last year. Between September and December of 2019, the number of active whales in the crypto space rose from approximately 2,000 to about 2,030.
This was during what Ashish Singhal – co-founder and CEO of CRUX Pay and CoinSwitch.co – calls an accumulation phase, in which whales are no longer sitting around watching the crypto space with eagle eyes, but rather taking an active part in the industry and getting their hands on digital funds.
During the accumulation phase, whales eat into market liquidity. That affects the supply-demand ratio and causes volatility to re-enter the market.
The accumulation phase isn’t necessarily a problem all by itself. Analysts like Connor Abendschein – a crypto researcher at Digital Assets Data – claim the main issue is that it’s very hard to predict how long such a period will last, which tends to lead to heavy uncertainty within the industry.
How Long Is This Going to Last?
The problem is that it is difficult to predict how long these periods of accumulation for HODLers will last… If the whales shift to accumulating bitcoin while HODLers are still within their current phase, it suggests an additional increase in demand for BTC at near the same as the mining supply is scheduled to be cut in half in early May.