The price of bitcoin took a massive hit in 2022, dropping by more than 50% in 12 months. However, the crypto analytics platform Santiment believes there’s more bad news incoming in the new year.
The company based its rather bearish prediction on the BTC whales’ activity.
BTC whales are net sellers
Santiment began its 2023 prediction analysis by highlighting the significance of BTC whales’ behavior for the asset’s price movements. This is somewhat expected since these types of investors – who own between 1,000 and 100,000 BTC in a single wallet – could have a bigger impact if they decide to sell or buy in bulk.
They were quite active on the buying front during the bull market in 2021, but most have changed their strategy in the totally different environment of 2022. The analytics resource confirmed this, asserting that bitcoin whales have become “net sellers” recently, “and the price has been following suit.”
“It is with confidence that we can predict sideways or even lower prices for BTC in the next 6-12 months.” – Santiment said.
The analysis added that BTC bottoms are typically found once the whales’ activity has declined substantially. However, this is not the case now as there’re over 10,000 transactions from such investors daily at the moment, while the count was down to 1,200-2,500 during previous bottoms.
“This may mean that we need to wait for the average to drop further before we can conclude that even the big players are giving up.”
Santiment predicted that a price drop to as low as $12,200 is not out of the question since there’re two notable volume gaps between that level and $14,600 that whales might be paying attention to.
Retail investors differ
There’s a big difference between what retail and whales were doing during previous bear cycles and this one. Historically, the former used to get scared more easily and sell their bags, while the latter went on an accumulation spree.
However, the 2022 bear market has seen a wildly different landscape. Whales have been disposing of their assets, as mentioned above, while retail investors (holding between 0.1 and 10 BTC) refused to sell and actually kept buying.
As such, their cumulative holdings reached an all-time high of 15.9% of bitcoin’s total available supply in mid-October, as CryptoPotato reported at the time.