While ether’s (ETH) price has risen by nearly 50% this year, the number of addresses holding large amounts of the currency, popularly known as whales, has declined significantly.
The seven-day average of the number of unique addresses holding 10,000 ethers or more fell to 1,050 on Tuesday. That’s the lowest level since January 2019, according to data provided by the blockchain intelligence firm Glassnode.
The whale addresses are down nearly 6% from the December high of 1,115. The metric represents externally owned accounts, or the ones controlled by private keys, and excludes contract accounts that have their own code and are controlled by the code.
The decline in the number of ether whale addresses is in contrast to the recent rise in the number of bitcoin whale addresses. The seven-day moving average of the number of addresses holding 10,000 bitcoins or more rose to 111 at the end of April, the highest since August 2019.
“Some ETH whales could have moved into BTC in anticipation of potential price appreciation in the top cryptocurrency due to effects of the mining reward halving,” said Connor Abendschein, crypto research analyst at Digital Assets data.
The bullish hype surrounding bitcoin’s third halving, which took place on May 11, was quite strong and the event was extensively discussed by analysts over the past few months. The bullish expectations were reinforced by bitcoin’s quick recovery to $7,000 in just five days following its drop to $3,867 on March 12.
That may have caused some whales to switch to bitcoin from ether ahead of halving. That is further evidenced by the number of large BTC addresses that jumped by 5% in March while those of ether were on a downward trend.
The divergence could continue to widen because bitcoin is used mainly as a value storage vehicle, according to Jason Wu, CEO and co-founder of the Minneapolis-based digital lending and…