At the time of writing, BTC is trading up about 5.7% at its current price of $17,742, marking a sharp decline from its recent highs near $19,500 seen on Wednesday.
BTCUSD Chart By TradingView
After failing to set a new all-time high by just a few hundred dollars, BTC retracted as low as $16,300 in yesterday’s trading. Investors had anticipated that the BTCUSD pair would soon surge higher and break the Dec 2017 crypto bubble record.
Indeed, a new price record was so close that the bulls could taste the victory, but the milestone was halted in its tracks by massive whales who flooded centralized crypto exchanges with massive amounts of coins to be dumped.
What Could Be Driving the Current Bitcoin Sell-Off?
The recent rejection just below the all-time highs was certainly a contributing factor to the ongoing signs of weakness in the BTC price, but other factors could have been at play.
For one, recent comments from the U.S. Treasury Secretary on a potential wave of regulations stringent crypto market regulations by late-January could have reduced investor confidence in BTC.
OKEx could also have contributed to the current BTC selloff, causing prices to tank. The top exchange resumed crypto withdraws for users who previously had their Bitcoin locked on the platform for about five weeks.
Since the reopening that took place on Nov. 26, a total of 212,000 BTC left the exchange, according to crypto analytics firm Crypto Quant.
The massive outflow of coins from OKEx coincided closely with the plunge in BTC prices by over $3,000 on Thursday.
It is likely that investors who had been denied access to their holdings for well over a month, which saw the peak of the recent rally, may have taken the opportunity to take profits off the table.
Whales Moved and Sold Over 93K BTC
Selling pressure in the Bitcoin market has mounted significantly over the past few days, with analysts predicting that it may continue hampering BTC’s price action in the days and weeks ahead.
Since the peak near $19,500, whales began moving BTC en masse to centralized crypto exchanges and have so far taken $1.5 billion in profit even at an average sell price of $17K per coin.
While sharing the chart below, on-chain analytics firm intoTheBlock highlighted this massive inflow volume into exchanges and subsequent BTC price drop in a Nov 27 tweet.
“This drop started as soon as whales began to deposit BTC to exchanges. More than 93 thousand Bitcoin’s were deposited into centralized exchanges.”
BTC Inflows Into Exchanges | Chart by IntoTheBlock.