Bitcoin holdings on Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, the largest crypto trading platform in the United States, have fallen to their lowest level since 2017 as BTC whales started withdrawing funds into self-custody.

According to data from CryptoQuant whales – investors holding large amounts of Bitcoin – have withdrawn over $1 billion worth of the cryptocurrency from the platform in recent weeks, leading over 18,000 BTC off of the exchange’s wallets.

This movement coincides with increased buying activity by whales who accumulated over 100,000 BTC in just ten days, worth over $5 billion, according to popular cryptocurrency analyst Ali Martinez.

Bitcoin is currently trading above $52,000 after surging nearly 100% over the last six months over the excitement surrounding the launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States, along with the demand these funds brought in for the cryptocurrency. These ETFs have, according to data from BitMEX Research, attracted net flows of over $4.5 billion since launch.

It’s unclear whether the Bitcoin addresses of spot Bitcoin ETFs were included or excluded in the data, but it underscores the growing pressure being put on Bitcoin’s supply ahead of its upcoming halving event in April, which will reduce the coinbase reward miners receive for finding blocks.

Bitcoin whales moving BTC off of exchanges and into self-custody wallets could put even more pressure on Bitcoin’s declining available supply, which coupled with growing demand could lead to further price rises, according to analysts. Investors should carefully consider their risk tolerance before making any investment decisions.

Tuur Demeester, a popular cryptocurrency analyst and early Bitcoin evangelist, has for example forecasted that Bitcoin’s value will soar to between $200,000 and $600,000 by 2026, fueled by trillions of dollars of government bailouts and stimulus.

Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital, has maintained a forecast of a significant price increase for the cryptocurrency, suggesting that the price at the time of Bitcoin’s halving, multiplied by four, indicates where Bitcoin’s price could head in that cycle. This methodology leads him to believe that his $170,000 price prediction is conservative given the current momentum.

Featured image via Unsplash.