The amount of Bitcoin (BTC) held by whales increased by around 14% after Tesla announced its foray into the cryptocurrency sector in early February 2021.
The latest data from on-chain analytics platform Glassnode shows an inflow of roughly $19.5 billion worth of Bitcoin — according to current exchange rates — into wallets that hold at least 100 BTC and a maximum of 1,000 BTC. The deposits spiked right after Tesla revealed in its January securities filings that it had added $1.5 billion worth of BTC to its balance sheet.
The news hit the wire on Feb. 8 when the cost to purchase one Bitcoin was as low as $38,057 on Coinbase. The rates shot up toward $65,000 by mid-April, driven higher by bulls that expected Tesla’s involvement in the cryptocurrency sector to influence more corporates into adding Bitcoin to their balance sheets.
Honestly, I’m not surprised that Tesla bought #Bitcoin and I won’t be surprised when Apple and Microsoft do it. Having $BTC is just common sense at this point.
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) February 9, 2021
The adoption prospects for Bitcoin among corporates and other institutions boomed because of the cryptocurrency’s anti-inflation narrative. Many speculators projected Bitcoin as an insurance against the Federal Reserve’s expansionary monetary policies that sapped investors’ appetite for traditional safe-havens like the United States government bonds and the U.S. dollar.
USD index shows erratic inverse correlation with Bitcoin after March 2020. Source: TradingView
Tesla, in its first-quarter filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, also noted that it wanted to buy Bitcoin by utilizing its unused cash reserve worth $1.5 billion, hinting that the electric carmaker was looking to offset potential dollar devaluation risks.
The Glassnode BTC supply metric shows signs of stabilization following latest crash. Source: Glassnode
The entire Tesla episode served as a bullish cue for investors looking to maximize their returns from the Bitcoin bull run. The Glassnode metric showed that the Bitcoin supply held by 100-1K BTC wallets was stable before Tesla’s announcement but spiked dramatically after it.
But there’s a catch
However, another Glassnode metric, that measures the Bitcoin supply held by wallets with a 1K-10K BTC balance, illustrated a steady decline — from around 455,000 BTC (~$17.88 billion) to roughly 410,000 BTC (~$16.11 billion).
The outcome revealed that bigger whales sold their Bitcoin holdings following Tesla’s announcement. As a result, they became part of the 100-1K BTC supply group.
Entities with 1K-10K BTC balance dropped after Tesla’s bitcoin investment. Source: Glassnode
Meanwhile, the sell-off from the 1K-10K BTC supply group did little in offsetting the Bitcoin bull run. The cryptocurrency approached the all-time high of $65,000, indicating smaller whales and retail traders absorbed the selling pressure from bigger investors.
Bitcoin is trading around $39,300 at time of writing, down roughly 38% from its record peak in mid-April.