Blockchain Bites: Bitcoin Whales Throwing Their Weight Around, Virgil Griffith’s Rights

There are more bitcoin “whales” than ever, and new data shows how they drive market movements. MassMutual is the latest legacy institution to buy into bitcoin. And the number of Ethereum developers is growing at a breathless pace.

Top shelf

Whales and krill
New data from OKEx and Kaiko suggests that bitcoin “whales” – the mega-wealthy crypto investors and, potentially, institutions – were selling at market highs as retail investors bought in. Trading data of the bitcoin/tether pair on OKEx’s platform between August and November showed that during the November bitcoin rally whales took profits and bought the dip, while smaller buyers continued purchasing as they did in September and October, despite higher prices in the oldest cryptocurrency, and panic sold around the Thanksgiving pullback. While the picture is likely more complicated, OKEx’s data shows how small buyers are faced with “swimming with the tide or against it,” by holding positions largely influenced by major buyers and sellers.

Mass buy
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, a $235 billion insurance giant, purchased $100 million worth of bitcoin and invested $5 million in the crypto asset manager NYDIG. MassMutual told the Wall Street Journal it was a seeking “measured yet meaningful” stake in an increasingly digital world by taking on direct exposure to bitcoin. The life insurance company is the latest institutional stalwart to join bitcoin’s march into the financial mainstream, joining other publicly traded corporations and multi-billion dollar money managers in embracing bitcoin’s “macro” play.

Developer doozy
More than 300 new developers per month are coming into crypto to work on Ethereum, according to data compiled by venture firm Electric Capital. In its annual developer report, the VC found the number of coders entering the crypto space to develop blockchains and projects is increasing nearly across the board – though Ethereum is by far seeing the most action….

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