After laying dormant for over 5 years, a crypto whale holding 39,260 ether worth nearly $90 million made waves this week by transferring the entire balance to the Kraken exchange. This unexpected awakening of such a sizable Ethereum wallet immediately sparked speculation among market observers.
But why does this transfer matter and what could it mean for Ethereum’s price outlook?
A dormant Ethereum wallet holding 39,260 ETH worth $89 million was activated after 5 years of inactivity.
The ETH was transferred to the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange on Tuesday morning.
This wallet originally received 47,260 ETH back in 2017 worth $11 million at the time.
Whales transferring crypto to exchanges often signals potential selling pressure or converting holdings to other tokens.
This large ETH transfer could have noticeable effects on Ethereum’s market price and volume if the holder sells or converts the assets.
Let’s rewind to the genesis of this story. Blockchain analysis shows this whale address first received 47,260 ETH back in 2017, valued at just over $11 million at the time. After that, it remained completely inactive until early Tuesday morning when its entire 39,260 ETH balance was deposited to Kraken in a single transaction.
The on-chain analytics tool Lookonchain detected the transfer during Asian morning trading. Perhaps tellingly, prior transactions from the address didn’t correspond to any exchange’s storage wallets. Although, some slight connection to trading firm Cumberland emerges from additional blockchain analysis.
An early $ETH whale appears to be selling ETH again after being dormant for 5 years.
The whale deposited all 39,260 $ETH($87.5M) to #Kraken 30 mins ago.
The whale received 47,260 $ETH($11.34M) at ~$240 from June to August 2017.
If sold the whale would make a profit of ~$78M. pic.twitter.com/v0PI4LNTKO
— Lookonchain (@lookonchain) December 5, 2023
So why do crypto whales present such fascination and influence? In short, their market-moving capability. Whales accumulating tokens can signal strength and stability in an asset. Conversely, transferring to an exchange tends to precede selling activity or conversions to other cryptocurrencies. And any swift change in supply versus demand impacts pricing across the board.
Presently, Kraken houses sufficient liquidity to facilitate a $5 million Ethereum trade without drastically swinging the market. Although a $90 million sell-off could induce heavier volatility. Of course, seasoned whales often break orders into smaller chunks to minimize disruption.
Ultimately, this sleeping giant Ethereum holder awakening and migrating funds after five quiet years accentuates the extraordinary wealth concentration and sway that crypto whales wield over prices, for better or worse.