In brief

  • Over one billion dollars has left Coinbase in the past day.
  • Comparable amounts of crypto have been leaving other wallets recently.
  • The transaction comes amidst a momentous week for Bitcoin, which hit a new ATH of $57,808.

Today, 13,204 Bitcoins left Coinbase for unknown wallets. That’s just over three-quarters of a billion dollars at the current price. According to Whale Alert, 36 separate transactions were made, each valued at between 351 and 391 Bitcoins, between the hours of 4 and 5 PM UTC. 

Last night, Whale Alert tweeted that 4,501 BTC had left Coinbase for an unknown wallet, meaning in the past 24 hours more than a billion dollars worth of Bitcoin has been transferred out of Coinbase, though it’s not known whether the transactions are related.

What’s going on?


It could be an over-the-counter desk reshuffling its wallets, a Bitcoin not-quite-billionaire moving cash to cold storage, or a money-laundering scheme. It’s difficult to tell: the transferrer protected their privacy well, generating a new address for each transaction. 

This is not the first time a large Coinbase movement happened this month, either.

On January 31, over 15,200 Bitcoins, worth approximately $500 million at the time,  were transferred out of Coinbase Pro. Back then, CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju told Decrypt that he put it down to over-the-counter trades from institutional HODLers, saying, “I believe this is the strongest bullish signal.”

A bull run powered by institutions

Those who have been following the crypto news over the last fortnight will know that Bitcoin passed several milestones. Firstly, Tesla disclosed that it had bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Assuming Tesla hasn’t sold any of it, Elon Musk’s electric car company will have profited more from this purchase alone than from the combined sales of its cars last year. 

Another huge bit of institutional interest came from asset management company BlackRock, whose CIO Rick Rieder announced that the firm is investing some of its clients’ $8.67 trillion money pot into Bitcoin. 

BlackRock isn’t the first asset management company to do so. Guggenheim already has, with its CIO this month upgrading his Bitcoin price projection to $600,000. And BNY Mellon, one of America’s oldest banks, announced last week that it would add crypto asset management services for its clients. Lastly, Michael Saylor announced that his company MicroStrategy will sell $1.05 billion in debt securities to buy up more Bitcoin. 


So really, hands up: Who’s the whale?


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

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