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Institutional investors aren't buying Bitcoin at 50% of all-time highs


30 Jun 2021

#Bitcoin

Ahead of the major GBTC unlocking event, it seems institutions and retail alike have cold feet about $34,000 Bitcoin. Institutions are holding their breath when it comes to buying more Bitcoin (BTC), even at $34,000. According to data covering BTC balances on major exchange Coinbase, little mass buying has occurred in recent weeks.

Institutional demand "still low," says analyst

Despite BTC/USD trading at over 50% below its recent all-time highs, there is curiously little interest in buying up the supply for many investors. Whether retail or institutional, adding Bitcoin to portfolios appears to be simply not as attractive as before, even with a conspicuous “discount.”

“I know this is getting old, but Coinbase Bitcoin exchange balances still continue to go sideways,” researcher Jan Wuestenfeld commented on the data, tracked by on-chain analytics service Glassnode. “If we take that as a proxy for institutional demand is still low…”

Coinbase’s BTC balance saw consecutive steps down throughout 2021. The trend was consistent until mid May’s price capitulation event, when withdrawals conspicuously stopped. Since then, Coinbase has seen only small decreases in its Bitcoin reserves.

As Cointelegraph reported, July is set to see a shake-up in terms of institutional activity thanks to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). Mid-month, a major unlocking event will give a large slice of the investor base a chance to sell their funds. Should they choose to do so, selling pressure is implied, and the potential for the Bitcoin price to slide further could be the reason why there is currently little interest in buying. The event is important — once over, selling pressure overall is expected to decrease significantly.

1 week, $3.8 billion realized losses

When it comes to selling behavior, meanwhile, it is conspicuously short-term holders (STRs) who are behind the routs which saw lows of $28,600. As Glassnode noted in the latest of its weekly reports, The Week On-chain, the mood very much appears to be one of panic selling — new investors are ridding themselves of BTC at a loss.

“A very large volume of coins that were underwater were spent this week,” Glassnode explained. “Note that almost all Long-Term Holders are in profit and their spending actually offset around $383M in net losses (total realised loss was $3.833B!). Currently only 2.44% of the circulating supply is held by LTHs at an unrealised loss.”


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