Shrimps are buying a lot while whales have been selling since early 2021. Is this a good or a bad thing?

Shrimps are entities with less than 1 Bitcoin, so your typical retail investors. Whales obviously hold loads of Bitcoin. Normally, shrimps buy high and sell at a loss, yet whales buy low and sell at a profit. This is why retail tends to lose money. With this knowledge, there's two worrying statistics.

(1) Shrimps are buying lots of Bitcoin!

We saw the biggest spike of shrimps buying Bitcoin in 2022 and this trend has continued throughout this year so far. Shrimps are stacking so hard they are the most active accumulators of bitcoin in 2023 and now hold 7% of Bitcoin supply.

Some present this as bullish. However, more often than not, retail is the majority and the majority loses money.

The price chart of Bitcoin with shrimp buying volume in orange (higher = more buying); Source: Glassnode

(2) Whales have been distributing since early 2021

The percentage of the market cap of Bitcoin owned by Whales has steadily been going down since 2021. So in a sense, whales have been distributing since early 2021. This trend is continuing this year. The supply per whale did stabilize at around 5350 Bitcoin per whale.

Lightblue line is the % of the market cap held by whales. Source: Glassnode


  • Is this great for Bitcoin and us because the supply is getting more fairly distributed?
  • Is this time different or does this data suggest at more pain to come?

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50 thoughts on “Shrimps are buying a lot while whales have been selling since early 2021. Is this a good or a bad thing?”

  1. Looking at what happened the past few days we should be weary. Whales are playing games with us

  2. The shrimps are just accumulating as much as they can for the Bull RUN while the whales can sell even in bear market cause of their bigger profit margin due to their bag size.

  3. DCA is always good if you are buying BTC. I’m going to get as much BTC as i can.

  4. One day whales will be exit liquidity for us shrimps, and we’ll grow to be fucking squids

  5. there is the good the bad and the ugly and this one is clearly the ugly 😂

  6. Whales are playing both side. Since they decide when the wind turns, we dont have choice to DCA.

  7. If you look at the data on glassnode, Bitcoin active addresses have yet to surpass their peak from 2017, showing user growth has slowed significantly. This tells us that simply those who were already in the market are going in more deeply. And it’s quite incredible, considering the scale of the last bull run.

    This combined with the massive credit bubble does not seem to bode well for the average shrimp holding Bitcoin. The better metric would be active addresses, because this would show real user growth. Instead it seems people are becoming more entrenched in Bitcoin. This makes sense from a psychological standpoint because the current economic outlook can easily validate the stance that the established system will collapse and Bitcoin will save us all.

    Often, even after someone has been duped, they will continue to behave contrary to the evidence to further solidify their views. i.e. I think this is a “denial” pattern.

  8. It is 100% a good thing that Shrimps are buying more and more.

    That means more regular folks, one of us, hard working people, more adoption.

  9. Naturally this must happen if you have an asset that moves from $1 to 69000 and down again. If a whale bought anywhere between $1 and even $1000, they will sell some at the peak in 2021 at least. It would be crazy to accumulate more at that profit level.

    Norhing to worry about.

  10. Whales have likely owned much longer and have a lower average so are well into the money.

    They would have gotten their first Lambo many many moons ago, and now the Lambo needs repairs, they want a new one, trophy wife needs an upgrade who knows.

    But if I was a whale…..

  11. If you have to ask somebody if this is good or not, you cannot be helped. Follow the whales, always.

  12. I held a good amount for a long time. I have a very small amount compared now. Financial crypto is kinda silly. The real uses are in medical, manufacturing and possibly social security numbers. Countries will make their own tokens and that’s good.

    As for financial I will see you guys in about 4 years.

  13. Good point OP. I would say more pain to come. Whales made their money, now we fight for scraps.

  14. You forget to factor in macroeconomics. Whales are selling to cut their losses due to covid/war related economic downswing.

  15. The pessimist in me says that we’re just provided extended exit liquidity and then will sell when the economy continues to shit the bed.

    The optimist in me says that it’s good that whales will have less and more people will have BTC, but who knows how much whales have in different wallets?

  16. This seems great to me. Tons of small investors are coming together to buy the supply up gradually over time. The fact that whales have sold while the price almost doubled off the low is even more positive. We don’t technically need whales at a certain point. Btc wasn’t meant to be hoarded by Warren buffets anyway.

  17. Buy alt’s with good foundations, take a risk like the og whales did. Forget BTC and ETH.

  18. Genuine question re on-chain metrics:

    Since BTC wallets rotate addresses when you transfer amounts (at least they do w wallets like Trezor) how do folks like glassnode get accurate data on actual wallet sizes?

    (Or are whales just like: screw it, I don’t rotate addies, everyone can see how big my balls are and enjoy)

  19. You need to look past a month or 2 or 10. Just buy when u can afford it. Or every payday put in a set amount. Or just buy red daily candles. Btc runs a 4 year cycle. Going into the halving(when the block reward is cut in half) it sends a supply shock kicking off the bull run. Youre goal should be 4 or 8 years out. Ive been in crypto since end of 2015 beginning 2016. I actually bought the peak of the blowoff top in 2016. I didnt care because in my mind, this was the end of the cycle and i knew the next halving id be ready. So i held. When eth bottomed out at 80bucks i bought 2000$ worth and held til this last blowoff top and i sold half. When we recently bottomed out at 800 i started buying again. Sorry for the long story. All im saying is, you need to set a goal and stick with it. Aim for 4 or 8 yrs out. Patience is key. Accumulate into the halving and hold for the peak. Good luck

  20. It’s normal, whales usually do the opposite of what shrimps do.

    Unfortunately ever since the growing interest in these digital assets we are have all witnessed traditional systems being implemented in the space. People in the space allowing regulators to come up with regulations is traditional. Bonds and yielding accounts is traditional. High leverage is traditional. Futures contracts is traditional. Financial institutions are also traditional. A lot of the stuff being implemented is copy and pasted from the traditional banking system.

    In trading traditional markets:

    When whales (large position holders and institutions) buy or sell, they sell in blocks. Shrimps (retail investors/traders) buy odd amounts. Whenever a whale looks at an order book and they see fractional purchases of a coin, they know liquidity is being added to their position. They have strict goals of what they wanna make and as soon as they make it, they sell. They do this with shorting and longing positions, hedging positions, and pumping certain projects.

    It really sucks what the space has become and I hope for a renaissance. One where we say fuck the senators, fuck the traditional banking system, and fuck the government.

    Like it was meant to be.

  21. Depends on the whale, crypto is basically hold up by theters. If they expect that the music will stop soon, the big boys probably gonna sell as mutch to small fish as possible.

  22. Well what is they hold less Bitcoin but like thousands of eth. Many of my btc friends go longer on eth now

  23. Bitcoin was created to buy drugs online from the Silk Road. It will retrace back to $1000 or lower. The government already proved they can hack your crypto wallet. It is worth less than $1 imo.

  24. Retail stuck holding the bags… again. Good luck trying to get 28,000 to hold.

  25. Well my Opinion would be favourable. If the wales have been selling like this, but yet the price of bitcoin is holding strong, than wouldn’t it be considered a good sign? Wouldnt this signal that bitcoin is becoming more mainstream?

    I would love to be right, but the truth is I am probably just another hopeful Ape.

  26. Whales know that there is no future for a useless token on a slow network. Once crypto starts to solve real-world problems, Bitcoin, with no real utility, will become noise of the space.

  27. If whale dominance is decreasing, it’s a good thing for us, as there would be less manipulation

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