Bitcoin rally slows as whales transfer wealth to retail investors

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    By Amee Mehta
    May 1st, 2021
    Glassnode, a crypto research company, has found some signs that say Bitcoin's bulls may be winding down. According to Glassnode, current on-chain metrics indicate that the Bitcoin bull market is nearing the end of its life cycle. Despite consistent accumulation from wallets holding 1 BTC or less since March 2018, on-chain analytics provider Glassnode observed a decrease in the number of Bitcoin whales in its March 22 Week on Chain report. “The persistent accumulation of smallholders demonstrates a willingness to HODL through volatility with the trend unbroken from mid-2018 through the chaos of 2020,” the report noted. For comparison, whale addresses carrying more than 100 BTC have been largely stable, with the group currently holding 62.6 per cent of the supply, up just 0.87 per cent in the last year. Glassnode claims that a BTC "wealth transition" from long-term investors to new investors is currently underway, based on its "Reserve Risk" measure, which is used to determine long-term holders' confidence in the price of Bitcoin. Bull markets, according to the study, follow a similar wealth transfer path over three distinct stages, which can be used to predict the current cycle's level. Peak hodl periods are inflexion points where the majority of coins owned by long-term holders, or LTHs, are profitable. “Similar to the Reserve Risk metric, these studies suggest conditions are similar to the second half or later stages of a bull market. There remains a larger relative portion of supply still held by LTHs having only spent 9% since the assumed Peak HODL point.” With the Chinese mining pool BTC, Glassnode isn't the only one predicting the demise of the bull market. The bull market, according to TOP CEO Jiang Zhuoer, could end as early as September. He cited a general economic turnaround amid COVID-19 vaccination rollouts as possible catalysts for a price turnaround, as well as waning interest in crypto assets if the recent trend of major companies such as Tesla and MicroStrategy adding Bitcoin to their treasury reserves ceases to continue. “Such movements are often but not necessarily synonymous with bear markets,” investment strategist Timothy Peterson said of the latest fall in whales. Bitcoin's price could fall as low as $25,000, according to Peterson.

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