CryptoQuant: Whales and institutions are buying up Bitcoin amid ETF frenzy

The cryptocurrency market is witnessing a wave of large-scale buying activity from whales and institutional investors, according to data from CryptoQuant, a blockchain analytics firm.

CryptoQuant defines whales as entities that hold between 1,000 and 10,000 bitcoins, and institutions as entities that hold more than 10,000 bitcoins. The firm tracks the number of unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) that fall within these ranges, which indicate how many bitcoins are being moved or stored by these entities.

According to CryptoQuant, the number of UTXOs in the 1,000 to 10,000 bitcoin range has surged from 2,026 on October 15, 2023, to 2,139 on February 20, 2024, an increase of 5.6%. The number of UTXOs in the above 10,000 bitcoin range has also increased from 104 to 108 in the same period, an increase of 3.8%.

Source: CryptoQuant

These increases coincide with the recent approval of several Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US, which allow investors to gain exposure to the price of Bitcoin without having to buy or store the actual cryptocurrency. The first Bitcoin spot ETF, launched by ProShares on October 19, 2023, attracted more than $1 billion in assets under management in its first two days of trading.

CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju said that the rise in UTXOs in the whale and institution ranges suggests that these entities are accumulating Bitcoin amid the ETF hype, expecting higher prices in the future.

“While not yet as significant as the latter part of the bull market in 2021, it’s evident that a considerable number of whales and institutions are entering the market,” he said.

He advised investors to be cautious and monitor the market indicators, such as the UTXO distribution, the exchange inflow and outflow, and the funding rate, to gauge the market sentiment and direction.

The cryptocurrency market has been on a bullish trend since the start of 2024, with Bitcoin reaching $53k in February 2024, according to CoinMarketCap. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has also surpassed $2 trillion, a new record.

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