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How Crypto Whales and Retail Investors Behave in the Current Bear Market

2 mins
Updated by Ali M.
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In Brief

  • According to on-chain analysis, crypto whales have been dumping BTC for over a year.
  • Retailers have been buying Bitcoin since October 2021.
  • Morgan Stanley strategist reports that $22,300 is a very important price level.
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Bitcoin price has been in a downtrend for almost a year now. What is the behavior of crypto whales and retail investors in the current market conditions?

After making an all-time high at $69,000 in November, Bitcoin price is down nearly 70% in one year. It is trading near $20,200 as of writing.

Crypto Whales Are Selling Bitcoin

According to data from Santiment, the crypto whales have been dumping their Bitcoin since last year while retailers are accumulating. Whales owned nearly 50% of the Bitcoin supply in Oct. 2021. Gradually, they dumped their bags.

The blue line in the chart below represents wallets holding 100 to 10,000 Bitcoins. It has been in gradual decline since last year. The crypto whales own 45% of the Bitcoin supply compared to the previous year’s 50%.

Large mining companies, like Core Scientific, have already capitulated. According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, they are down to holding just 24 BTC in Oct. 2022.

Whereas retailers seem to be buying from crypto whales. The red line shows wallets that own 0.01 to 10 BTC, i.e., retailers. Retail owned 14% of the Bitcoin supply in Oct 2021, and now, they own 15.80% of the supply.

The red line has rapidly risen since Oct 2021, while the blue is declining. This indicates that retailers were accumulating while crypto whales were dumping. 

Source: Santiment

Further Selling or Time for BTC Accumulation?

According to a Morgan Stanley report, 78% of BTC accumulated in the last six months has not been used in any transactions. Their average breakeven price is around $22,300. They may dump their bags to break even when the price of Bitcoin touches the $22,000 level.

Report from Morgan Stanley strategists Sheena Shah and Kinji Steinmetz:

Almost 1 year into the bitcoin bear market, most who bought bitcoin in 2021 are facing heavy losses and appear to be waiting for any rallies to close their position. A record number of bitcoin units haven’t been used for any transaction in the past 6 months, currently at 78% of total and this number continues to rise.

What this means, if we oversimplify a bit, is that those who bought/received bitcoin more than 6 months ago are holding onto their positions, with some likely waiting for a price recovery. For the remaining 22% of bitcoin units held by the shorter term investors who did transact bitcoin in the past 6 months, estimates suggest their average breakeven price is just over $22.3k

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For BeInCrypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist and crypto expert that excels in delivering the latest Web3 and Crypto News. Previously, as a Growth Marketer at Sporty and a Community Consultant at Totality Corp, he significantly boosted community engagement and followers. Harsh also crafted engaging content for top crypto influencer Shivam Chhuneja, blending meme references for an educational yet fun experience. His versatile skills make him a notable figure in crypto journalism.