Coinbase Loses Nearly US$1 Billion in Bitcoin as Whales Move Funds

Coinbase, one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, witnessed a massive outflow of Bitcoin from its platform on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

According to data from CryptoQuant, a blockchain analytics firm, more than 18,000 BTC, worth nearly US$1 billion at the time of writing, were transferred from Coinbase to multiple new addresses. The average value of each new wallet was around $55 million, with some holding as much as $171 million.

This huge withdrawal of Bitcoin from Coinbase reduced its confirmed reserve of the digital currency to the lowest level since 2017, when the price of Bitcoin reached its previous all-time high of around $20,000. As of now, Coinbase’s public order book holds around 394,000 Bitcoins, valued at more than $20.5 billion.

Bitcoin: Exchange Netflow (Total) – Coinbase Advanced (SMA 7) | Source: CryptoQuant

The identity and motive of the entities behind this move are not clear, but some speculate that they could be “whales” – large holders of Bitcoin who can influence the market with their actions. Some analysts suggest that this could be a sign of bullish sentiment, as whales may be moving their funds to cold storage or other platforms for long-term holding or trading.

Others, however, warn that this could also indicate a potential sell-off, as whales may be looking to cash out their profits or diversify their portfolio amid the recent volatility and regulatory uncertainty in the crypto space.

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