Bitcoin Whales Have Been Acquiring Large Amounts of Cryptocurrency in Past Two Months

The extended cryptocurrency bear market, which has seen the market capitalization of all digital assets drop from an all-time high of over $800 billion in late January 2018 to currently around $130 billion, appears to have motivated many crypto whales to accumulate large amounts of cryptoassets.

Buying The Opportune Dips

According to the “top 100 rich list” for cryptocurrency, compiled by Bitcoin.com, there are certain “whale wallets” that have been steadily increasing their crypto holdings - with every drop the digital asset market has experienced since December 2017. When crypto prices plummeted on February 24th, a number of whales reportedly bought large amounts of bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH).

With the exception of the four largest crypto wallets that belong to Binance, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, and Huobi, many of the large bitcoin holders are still unknown. According to reports, the 100 richest or largest wallet addresses are holding somewhere between 10,000 to 1,000,000 bitcoins - which is roughly equivalent to about 16% of all BTC in circulation.

Between December 17th, 2018 and February 25th, 2019, the four largest wallets associated with the exchanges (mentioned above) had increased their holdings by 2,879 BTC, an amount valued at approximately $10.8 million. In comparison, the remaining top 100 largest crypto addresses accumulated 151,505 BTC, which is currently valued at over $577 million according to CryptoCompare data.

Bitcoin Cash Whales Have Also Been Accumulating 

The reports also revealed that some of the richest bitcoin wallets that had been inactive for years seemed to be following similar accumulation patterns. It appears that these wallet holders believe cryptocurrency prices have bottomed - as they’ve been acquiring more bitcoins since November 2018.

Meanwhile, the top 100 largest bitcoin cash (BCH) wallets have also been accumulating as digital asset prices were falling. There are only 195 bitcoin cash addresses that hold between 10,000 and 1,000,000 BCH. This represents around 26.5% of all BCH in currently in circulation. Moreover, the top 100 BCH wallets have been acquiring large amounts of BCH, especially after the selloff that occurred on February 24th.

Notably, a BCH address which holds 57,889.45 BCH (appr. $7.8 million) has been acquiring a lot of cryptocurrency since December 2018. There are also 103,382 bitcoin cash addresses that have between 10-100 BCH, which accounts for about 20.66% of total BCH in circulation. Although there’s a difference between the distribution BCH and that of BTC, the BCH whales (like the BTC whales) appear to be accumulating large amounts of cryptocurrency every time crypto prices drop. In fact, the five largest bitcoin cash wallets have acquired 138,014 BCH (appr. $19.2 million) since December 2018.

Israel Bitcoin Association Petitions Banks to Reveal Crypto Policy

Neil Dennis

A number of Israel's bitcoin traders have already filed lawsuits against the country's banks and on Monday traders lodged a formal petition demanding that the financial industry explains its cryptoasset policy.

Israel's banks have barred the country's crypto investors from depositing the returns on their bitcoin and other digital currency investments due to the nation's strict laws on money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In recent months banks have even blocked investors who are known to trade cryptoassets from opening accounts, according to a report by Israeli business journal Globes.

Central Bank Warning

Israel has seen strong growth in digital currency investment in recent years and in 2014 the Bank of Israel, the nation's central bank, issued a warning - in co-operation with the Tax Authority and several regulatory agencies - about the dangers associated with the use of virtual currency, including fraud and money laundering.

Taking aim directly at financial services providers, the statement said:

As the use of virtual currencies enables their anonymous transfer, in many cases evading the need to use financial institutions that are subject  to an anti-money laundering and terror financing prohibition regime, this is an activity with a high risk co-efficient in terms of money laundering and terror financing. Therefore, financial institutions must take this into account within the framework of their risk management policy.

Injunction

Israel's top legal authority is well aware a problem exists. In February 2018, the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting a bank from blocking activities in an account held by a company that engaged in bitcoin trading.

The bank, however, countered the Supreme Court's injunction, citing the 2014 Bank of Israel warning regarding the risks of bitcoin trade. The bank alleged that activities exposing the bank to such unlawful acts might "harm its reputation and public trust in the bank".

While the injunction stood, it did not affect the bank's right to examine individual activities in the account, nor did it affect the bank's ability to take steps to minimize risks associated with the business activities of the company.

Freedom of Information

The freedom of information petition filed in the Jerusalem District Court on Monday by the Israel Bitcoin Association demands that commercial banks make public their policies on cryptoassets.

Jonathan Klinger, legal adviser to the Bitcoin Association, told Globes:

Under the Banking (Licensing) Law, it is the duty of a bank to state to the Bank of Israel the policy under which it refuses to conduct transactions. We therefore contacted the Bank of Israel and asked for this information, but the Bank of Israel did not agree to disclose this policy to us. We therefore decided to petition the court to force the Bank of Israel to provide us with a copy of the policy submitted to it by the banks.

Lawsuits

Last week the Tel Aviv District Court received a petition for approval of a 75 million shekel ($21.3 million) class action suit against Bank Hapoalim that alleges the bank refused a customer seeking to deposit money from the sale of digital currencies.