Bitcoin Newbies Cruising Ahead: Newest Whales Outpacing Market Veterans


Whales. We’re not talking about the majestic, blubbery titans of the ocean, but rather the titans of the Bitcoin market, who are currently making substantial waves as new entrants to the market begin to hold almost twice as much as the veterans. A seismic shift unfolds beneath the surface of the cryptocurrency waters.

Not long ago, CryptoQuant founder and CEO, Ki Young Ju, shed light on how the current holdings of Bitcoin’s new whales stack up against those with more longevity in the market. Under scrutiny is not the usual measure of the market cap but rather, an on-chain indicator known as the “Realized Cap.”

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To put it succinctly, this concept tracks the total capital investors have sunk into purchasing their Bitcoin. Instead of merely measuring the entire market’s total value based on the current spot price, the Realized Cap provides a contrasting capitalization model. And while the overall market’s Realized Cap is a key figure for some, of particular interest here is that of two investor categories: the short-term holder whales and long-term holder whales.

In the deep digital sea of cryptocurrency, these “whales” are the prime movers. Defined as entities within the network holding a balance of at least 1,000 BTC, it is no exaggeration to label these investors as the powerhouses of the market. At the current exchange rate, that’s a hefty $66.6 million worth, and by virtue of their substantial holdings, they notably impact the marketplace.

As time and tide touch the market, these whales split into two subcategories. The short-term holder or STH whales have netted their coins within just the past 155 days. On the other side of the divide, the long-term holder (LTH) whales have clung to their positions for periods exceeding this.

Recently, data revealed by Ju indicates a compelling divergence in the fortunes of these two classes of Bitcoin behemoths. Historically, the Realized Cap of the STH whales hadn’t varied much from that of the LTH whales. However, things have seemingly shifted, and the newcomers are surfacing with phenomenal growth.

Indeed, the Realized Cap for the new entrants show steep progress this year, soaring to a startling $110.6 billion. This data illustrates that these recent whales have collectively bought their stake initiating with an investment that hits the astronomical numbers. In sharp contrast, the LTH whales’ Realized Cap has stuck to its usual path and presently hovers around $66.9 billion. The discrepancy between these two groups is widening, painting a dramatically different picture from the norm.

As we cast our nets out to catch the cause of this phenomenal development, we find the spotlight shining on a singular event in the past five months, a first of its kind: the approval of spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Providing an alternative investment route for traditional investors into Bitcoin, these funds have sparked unprecedented demand. As their holdings still come under the 155-day mark, they join in the ranks of STH whales.

Bolstered by a rally this year, Bitcoin has attracted massive new investments, albeit at relatively lofty prices. Consequently, the Realized Cap, intimately tied to direct capital flows, has swelled even more.

As of now, Bitcoin has surged more than 6% over the past week, trading at $66,400. The asset’s value seems to be oscillating steadily, but as this tale of the Bitcoin oceans proves, even in perceived stasis, the undercurrents can hold surprising narratives.