At midday yesterday, whales moved around 77,000 BTC—worth a whopping $780 million —into three unknown wallets. To put that into perspective, that’s around 0.43% of all circulating supply.
Then things get even stranger: a day later, someone moved 484,775,570 XRP, worth about $133 million.
Needless to say, speculation about the big moves is raging across the twittersphere. Some pundits believe the transactions are related to the alleged Chinese Ponzi scheme PlusToken— which was accused of scamming users out of $3 billion. The idea here is that bad guys are liquidating their ill-gotten gains. Others say these moves are likely made by the usual suspects— whales— just ahead of what all the chart watchers absolutely swear will be a breakout. That’s right: The market is ready to go way up! Or maybe it’ll go way down. Then again, maybe it's nothing more than exchanges moving things around.
The news initially came from whale-alert, a website that puts out alerts on its Twitter feed whenever someone makes a sizeable transaction between wallets.
The two largest Bitcoin transactions–one for 33,705.87785594 BTC and another for 36,469.17934377 BTC–went to separate wallets, but took place within 30 minutes of each other.
The Bitcoin market felt the vibrations instantly. About an hour after the transaction, the price of BTC rose by about $400 to a high of $10,442.44. A day later, it started to sink like a stone, now at $9,982.30.
The BTC move might have bumped up the price of Ripple. In the hours following the BTC move, the price of XRP rose from $0.267527 to $0.277568.
One Ripple whale snatched the opportunity to make its move of 84,775,570 XRP, worth $133,366,660.
@Kemkem, a keen whale watcher, claims that the Ripple address belongs to the masterminds behind the PlusToken Ponzi scheme, which is quickly dumping hundreds of millions of stolen funds on the market. Indeed, a search for the address brings up Chinese language forums encouraging users to donate to the token. So who knows?
But anyone waggling a finger at PlusToken really ought to hold off for now. Earlier this week, Whale Alert picked up another huge transaction, of 97,750,354 VERI worth some $774 million). Turns out it likely wasn't anything interesting: The Whale Alert twitter account said that the coin, Veritaseum, is a low-volume coin. VeritaseItsum’s market cap currently hovers around $15 million. “It is likely that the devs moved or unlocked the locked supply of the coin (total supply 100,000,000),” tweeted Whale Alert.
For now, speculation remains utter speculation.