Kaiko Data Shows Limited Increase in New High-Value Bitcoin Wallets

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bitcoin coin on background of business charts

Bitcoin’s recent surge to a record-breaking $72,000 has ignited excitement in the cryptocurrency market. However, while the price is reaching new heights, the number of new high-value investors, often referred to as “whales,” hasn’t kept pace with the previous bull run.

A report published by Kaiko Research on March 11th reveals that the daily creation of new Bitcoin wallets holding over $1 million has risen to around 1,500. While this signifies an increase compared to January’s low of less than 500, it falls short of the figures witnessed during the 2021 bull run.

Kaiko highlights a stark contrast between the current market and the 2021 boom. During that period, with Bitcoin reaching $69,000, over 4,000 new million-dollar wallets emerged daily, alongside a staggering 2,000 wallets exceeding $10 million.

Kaiko suggests a few explanations for the cautious approach of major investors. Firstly, new capital might not be fully deployed yet. Secondly, existing whales might be taking profits as Bitcoin reaches new highs.

The report also explores the possibility of whales shifting their storage preferences. Traditionally, whales held their Bitcoin directly in personal wallets. However, the recent launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs (exchange-traded funds) might be influencing this behavior.

Since their launch in January, these U.S.-based ETFs have accumulated over $28 billion worth of Bitcoin, according to data from BitMEX Research on March 8th. Major custodians like Coinbase and BitGo hold these assets on behalf of the ETFs.

Investors in spot Bitcoin ETFs own shares in the fund, not the underlying Bitcoin directly. This means their significant indirect Bitcoin holdings wouldn’t be reflected in traditional “whale wallet” data.

Looking back, 2022 saw a significant increase in the number of Bitcoin millionaire wallets. Crypto research firm Glassnode reported a near 300% jump, bringing the total to 90,000 by year-end. This past year marked a revival for long-term Bitcoin holders, known as “hodlers,” with the price rising by roughly 160% to $42,200.

Since then, Bitcoin has experienced another surge of 71%, reaching its current price of $72,200 at the time of writing.

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