Despite several bearish predictions circulating regarding the price of Bitcoin leading up to the April halving, it seems that whales have a different opinion.
It has indeed been discovered that Bitcoin whales have increased their BTC by 76,000 units since the beginning of the year, equivalent to about 3 billion dollars.
The accumulation of Bitcoin (BTC) whales
According to data published by IntoTheBlock, starting from October the number of BTC held by whales has increased from just under 7.6 million units to almost 7.8 million units.
These are a whopping 200,000 BTC accumulated in less than four months, with a significant portion in January.
In total, in the month of January alone, they purchased 76,000, which is almost 40% of the entire overall increase in the last 4 months.
Note that the peak of accumulation in January started before new Bitcoin spot ETFs were launched on US exchanges (source), and it surged after the launch when the price started to decline.
To tell the truth, the current price has returned in line with that of mid-December, but on January 11th it had risen to $49,000 before the sell the news frenzy broke out.
What is surprising is that at the moment when the sell the news started, the whales increased the pace of accumulation.
The bearish forecasts
All of this clashes quite a bit with the numerous bearish predictions circulating during this period.
During previous cycles, before the halving, there has always been a mini-bullrun followed by a strong drop.
For example, before the last halving, which took place in May 2020, excluding the black swan event of the beginning of the pandemic in March of the same year, the previous year saw a remarkable rise from around $3,500 to over $13,000, followed by a strong retracement to less than $7,000.
However, the next halving is less than three months away, and usually in the months just before the halving, the price of Bitcoin tends to stabilize.
For example, in 2020, excluding the black swan of the beginning of the pandemic, which caused a strong collapse lasting only one month, in the months before the halving, the price remained around $10,000.
So the hypothesis of a pre-halving retracement at this moment seems weak, for this 2024.
Other bearish forecasts are those that take into consideration the return of the 140,000 BTC from Mt.Gox, or a possible continued strong liquidation of Bitcoin by Grayscale, or the Fed’s failure to cut rates in March.
The optimistic forecasts
However, there are also those who have optimistic predictions. After all, whales wouldn’t be accumulating if they were pessimistic.
For example, according to Markus Thielen of 10x Research, who had predicted the recent drop to around $38,000, the next step could be a return above $43,000.
On the contrary, according to Thielen, in the event of a return above $43,000, another bullish period could be triggered.
Other analysts argue that before the halving, the price could return to around $49,000, and then perhaps correct a bit and reach around $45,000 by the April halving.
The fact is that there is a specific element behind these predictions.
In fact, it is being seriously considered that new Bitcoin spot ETFs could be launched on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by June or at the latest, July.
If this hypothesis were to prove correct, the price of BTC could react similarly to how it reacted to the news of the possible launch of Bitcoin spot ETFs in the USA. Furthermore, the halving is right around the corner until June.
Therefore, there is no agreement among analysts: some argue that it is time for a sharp retracement, while others believe that a return above $43,000 in the short term and possibly even higher is more likely.
The whales seem to have sided with this second hypothesis.
Bitcoin present on exchanges
Among the largest wallets in terms of the number of BTC held, there are certainly those of crypto exchanges.
According to CryptoQuant data, there are approximately 2.1 million BTC in total on crypto exchanges. Therefore, the majority of Bitcoin held by whales is not on exchanges.
By analyzing the January trend, it is also growing. However, the increase in BTC on exchanges from the end of December until now has been only 13,000 units, which is a minimal part of the 76,000 accumulated in total by the whales.
Moreover, in the last 12 months, BTC held on crypto exchanges has decreased from 2.2 to 2.1 million units, with the majority of the decline occurring between May and December, when they dropped from 2.32 to 2.06 million.
Starting from the end of December there has been an increase, but this increase seems to have stopped last week.
The really curious thing is that, despite the number of BTC in circulation continuing to increase due to the rewards given to miners, since CryptoQuant started measuring the number of Bitcoin held on crypto exchanges, the December 2023 figure (2.06 million) is the lowest ever.
All of this is perfectly in line with the data from IntoTheBlock regarding the BTC accumulated by whales.