In brief

  • The number of large HODLers of Bitcoin reaches yearly highs.
  • Ethereum, XRP and Cardano all saw strong growth over the weekend.
  • Stock Markets have also buoyed thanks to the COVID vaccine race.

It’s whale season in crypto. The number of addresses with significant holdings has been growing at a steady rate as Bitcoin’s price has doubled over the past few months. 

A Bitcoin whale, defined as a wallet holding more than 10,000 Bitcoin has hit yearly highs, according to analytics company Santiment. Some 114 wallets now sit in the Bitcoin OG club, but the number of wallets holding 1,000-10,000 Bitcoin has also grown to 2,449, too. 

The reason, according to research published by Pantera Capital is because companies like PayPay and Cash are buying up every new Bitcoin as it is mined. 

They are joined by other big investors adding millions of Bitcoin to their bank balances, including Grayscale and MicroStrategy who have made millions off the interest holding Bitcoin brings. 

While in previous bull runs, Bitcoin liquidity ticked up, this time things are different. Around 77% of all 14.8 million mined Bitcoin are in illiquid wallets (wallets that aren’t sending lots of Bitcoin—but rather holding onto it). 

This shows that whales appetite is to gobble up Bitcoin and wait for its value to increase. Some have wondered if this is leading to a shortage of Bitcoin. 

Alt-season cometh 

Over the weekend, while Bitcoin’s price went on a bit of a roller coaster ride before settling around $18,500 the rest of the market surged. 

Ethereum led the charge, gaining 8.6% in the past 24 hours with the currency heading towards $600. Late last week, Ethereum did surpass the $500 milestone, a feat not achieved since 2018. 

Elsewhere in the top 20, Cardano boomed by 22% taking its weekly gains to 50%, XRP was up 5.6% and Tezos 12.8%.

This ‘alt-coin’ boom has pushed crypto’s market cap way above the $500 billion mark. 

Stock markets buoyed by COVID race

Over in the stock markets, US investors will have a shortened week due to Thanksgiving. But despite the shortened week, the S&P, Dow and Nasdaq futures have all had good weekends, approaching the exuberant highs of earlier in the week. 

That seems largely down to the race to find-and deploy-a COVID vaccine becoming more crowded. Over night AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine has proven to have an efficacy rate of 70% while Pfizer has said it will seek emergency approval to begin its vaccine rollout. 

That’s led to optimism in the markets. But for retailers hoping to recover some of the losses from earlier this year, states across the US have added curfews, stay-in-place advisories and mask-wearing mandates. 

This comes as America can’t seem to put a lid on its rising cases. Daily new cases are now sitting at around 168,000 per day as COVID has taken the lives of more than 255,000 Americans and infected more than 12 million. 

While online retailers have capitalised on the increase in digital spending, those on the high street will continue to struggle.

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