Long-term Bitcoin whales are now cashing out their BTC, realizing $1.2 billion in profit over the past two weeks, according to CryptoQuant.

On-chain data provided by the firm shows that “old whales” realized profit in USD exploded in June, meaning they began selling coins at vastly higher prices than when they’d first received them on-chain.

“In US dollar terms this profit-taking is unprecedented,” said CryptoQuant Head of Research Julio Moreno in a message to Decrypt. He said only comparable time was when Bitcoin traded at $40,000 in April 2022, and old whales took $683 million profits in one day. In Bitcoin terms, realized profits then were higher at 17,000 BTC, versus this month’s 14,000 BTC profits.


Bitcoin whales are investors who have held at least 1,000 Bitcoin (worth $65 million at today’s price) for several years. They are often companies and institutional holders rather than individuals.

CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju claimed much of these sales have likely taken place through brokers, meaning the sell-side liquidity hasn’t hit the market yet. “Brokers may deposit $BTC to exchanges, impacting the market,” he warned on Tuesday.

A sell-off in whale holdings would exacerbate the crypto market’s bearish momentum in recent weeks, which has taken Bitcoin down 6.6% compared to last week. That’s in addition to $300 million outflows from Bitcoin ETFs in the last two days, and an environment where Bitcoin mining firms are selling their coins to stay afloat.

Granted, CryptoQuant’s old whale dashboard doesn’t tell the whole story. When looking at all Bitcoin whales, the cohort is continuing to accumulate coins—just at a slower rate than March of this year. Similarly, stablecoins are also still rising in market cap, but at a slower pace.


Moreno also noted that there could be some overlap between the “old whales” who are realizing profits and the Bitcoin ETF outflows. From an on-chain analysis perspective, a “long-term holder” is anyone who has held their coins for over 155 days—slightly longer than the ETFs have now been live.

“However, as this selling was related to long-term whales, it would only include a small fraction of ETF’s Bitcoin holdings,” he clarified. “Additionally, there was no large selling from ETFs the day that long-term holder Whales sold (June 5).”

CryptoQuant and other on-chain analysts warned earlier this week that Bitcoin is now trading at the “short-term holder cost basis”—the average price at which recent traders bought in. When this support line is lost, those traders often panic sell, leading to price drawdowns of 8% or more.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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