Data from on-chain sources indicates that Ethereum whales have divested approximately 12 million units of the cryptocurrency in the past year, with no apparent signs of reducing their activity.
Ethereum Whale Holdings Have Been on a Steady Decline Since 2020.
In a recent post on X, analyst James V. Straten delves into the contrasting behaviors of Bitcoin and Ethereum whales. The chart shared by the analyst provides a comprehensive comparison of these prominent holders’ trends for both assets throughout their histories.
To define what qualifies as a “whale,” the analyst employs a 1,000-token threshold for both assets. The chart illustrates that Bitcoin whales have consistently been on an upward trajectory in terms of their holdings, spanning the entire history of the asset.
While there have been occasional deviations from this upward trend, such as during the 2021 bull run, when these investors engaged in profit-taking, these deviations have proven to be short-lived as the whales ultimately resumed their accumulation.
One outstanding exception is the drawdown observed during the FTX collapse in November 2022. Nevertheless, whales have engaged in accumulation since the beginning of the year, though more effort is needed to fully recover from the aforementioned plunge.
In contrast, Ethereum whales have undergone a significant sell-off during the same period. Since 2020, these holders have divested 20 million ETH from their collective holdings, which translates to approximately $31.6 billion at the current exchange rate. In the past year alone, they have offloaded around 12 million ETH, equivalent to an astonishing $18.9 billion.
As highlighted in the graph, Ethereum whales briefly deviated from their selling phase when they bought at the lows of the bear market. However, this accumulation was swiftly reversed, with the indicator resuming a sharp decline soon after.
It’s important to note that the size of these whale groups varies significantly between the two assets. Due to the disparity in coin prices, 1,000 tokens of each asset carry vastly different weightings. By this cutoff, Bitcoin whales would hold at least $27.4 million worth of the asset, while ETH whales hold just $1.58 million.
For a more equitable comparison, it’s worth examining the holdings of Ethereum entities within the same range as Bitcoin whales. As illustrated in the chart below, Ethereum whales with holdings ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 ETH ($15.8 million to $158 million) have displayed accumulation over the years. However, this group has also sold substantial amounts this year.
However, the mega whales on the Ethereum network (holding $158 million or more) have shown behavior more in line with the aggregate group holding 1,000+ ETH, as they have been actively divesting since 2020.
Ethereum’s whale holdings present a challenging outlook, particularly when it comes to the lack of signs for a turnaround. These substantial holders appear uninterested in accumulating the asset, which differs significantly from the sentiment surrounding Bitcoin whales, who have been actively involved in net buying throughout this year.
Ethereum has experienced a recent downturn, with the cryptocurrency’s price currently revisiting the levels it last reached in August.