People who hold large amount of ETH, commonly referred to as whales, have increased their total holdings in the last one year, from around $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion according to data from Diar, with data from TokenAnalyst. That makes for around 20 percent of ETH in circulation or around 20 million ETH worth around $2.2 billion. The same wallets held only 4.3 million ETH at the beginning of 2017.
Although it could mean that Ethereum whales may have continued to buy in the bear market and waiting for a bull run, the trend could also mean that more people are selling ETH as the bear market continues, which means the addresses containing large amount of ETH are owned by cryptocurrency exchanges. ETH has shed more than half in its price in less than two months and has decreased from around $1300 in January to around $108 currently.
BitMEX research also earlier this year reported that many ICOs that had raised capital in ETH had sold their ETH when the price was $1000 to make huge gains. Bitmex analyzed 222 ICO projects and found out that most of ETH raised had been sold above market price. It is also possible that projects that held ETH to date could be selling ETH for USD.
Bitmex said in the October research that the ICO projects were still sitting on net unrealized gains of around $819 million in total rather than losses, even at the then price of $230.
More changes have happened in regard to whale addresses: there are now 30 percent fewer whales currently than there was at the start of the year.