The number of Bitcoin (BTC) whales, or wallet addresses holding 1,000 or more BTC, hit its lowest level since August 2019 on Sunday.
There were 2,027 whales on Sunday, February 19, according to crypto analytics service Glassnode; the last time their number dropped this low was August 5, 2019, when they numbered 2,023.
Owning that much Bitcoin at its current price of around $25,000 represents a sizeable show of faith in the digital currency, with each whale holding almost $25 million in Bitcoin.
The number of Bitcoin whales peaked in February 2021 at just under 2,500 but has declined steadily since then.
This trend comes despite a market rally that occurred between February and March 2022, when the number of whales jumped from 2,117 on February 21 to around 2,286 on March 23.
Mega whales and minnows
The same trend doesn’t appear among so-called mega whales, those holding more than 10,000 BTC, representing an investment of over $250 million at current prices.
There are just 117 mega whales, fairly close to the historical highs of 123 in November 2022, and 126 in October 2018. Their behavior has historically been much less correlated with the price of BTC.
However, the number of smaller investors in BTC, wallets holding over one coin, has gradually increased over the past five years with some dips, despite the dramatic changes in the price of the digital currency we’ve seen in the time period.
The number of wallets holding more than one BTC currently sits at 982,000, a solid rise from around 814,000 around his time last year, and 788,000 in February 2020.
The news comes as the price of BTC has rallied during 2023, after falling abruptly in the latter part of 2022 following the high-profile collapse of crypto exchange FTX.
Bitcoin's price has risen from $16,542 on January 1 to around $24,900 at the time of writing, an increase of over 40%.