Why the Bitcoin price is not having a 'whale of a time' lately

With the top crypto trading below US$20,000, it looks to have stirred some long dormant whales.

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Key points

  • The Bitcoin price tumbled on Wednesday and is down 3.5% over the week
  • News broke this week that a Bitcoin whale transferred 15,000 tokens from a dormant wallet to exchanges
  • Those transfers are worth some US$290 million

The Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) price has edged higher over the past 24 hours.

The world's original crypto is up 0.5% to US$19,370 (AU$28,562). That leaves Bitcoin down 3.5% over the past week and a hefty 59% lower in 2022.

What's happening?

Bitcoin was trading for US$24,887 as recently as 15 August. The 21% collapse since then mirrors the 9% drop in the tech-heavy NASDAQ over that same period.

The token, and most every altcoin, has been closely correlated with the movements of risk assets, like high-growth tech shares, throughout 2022. The Bitcoin price moves, both up and down, tend to be significantly larger than what we see on the NASDAQ, as witnessed by the much bigger fall since 15 August.

The past week's selling pressure has come as investors re-evaluate their holdings amid the outlook for further interest rate rises ahead. The higher rate environment has not proven friendly to cryptos so far.

Sinking Bitcoin price stirs sleeping whales

With Bitcoin falling below the key psychological level of US$20,000, it looks to have stirred some long dormant whales into selling their outsized holdings. And that's likely putting more downward pressure on the Bitcoin price.

On Wednesday, CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju noted that a Bitcoin whale had moved 15,000 tokens to exchange wallets. At this week's prices, that works out to some US$290 million.

"8-year-old 15k Bitcoin moved across ten days, and some of them were sent to Kraken," he tweeted.

Looking at Wednesday's charts, the Bitcoin price tumbled from US$19,815 to US$18,647 in less than eight hours. Certainly not having a whale of a time.

According to CryptoQuant, it's often a bearish sign when long dormant, large Bitcoin holders move their tokens to exchanges.

Investors waiting for the token to reclaim its 10 November record highs of US$68,790 may have to be patient.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Bitcoin. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Bitcoin. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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