The share of Ethereum (ETH) held by so-called whale addresses has dropped since Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade in mid April, suggesting that large investors may be leaning bearish in t near term.
ETH whale population shrinks post-Shapella
The amount of Ether held by addresses with 1,000-10,000 ETH, or “whales,” was over 14.033 million ETH on May 1, according to Glassnode data. In comparison, the count was 14.167 million ETH on April 12, when Shapella went live on Ethereum.
Interestingly, a week before the Shapella upgrade, the Ethereum whale cohort held 14.303 million ETH, the highest amount in 2023
“Shrimps” only ones buying ETH since Shapella
Ether’s price is down over 3.5% since the Shapella upgrade— suggesting that several whales may have indeed “sold the news.”
Interestingly, other address cohorts also showed a decline, including sharks (100-1,000 ETH), fishes (10-100 ETH), crabs (1-10 ETH), and even mega-whales (10,000+ ETH).
Only shrimps (<1 ETH) accumulated during the period, with their net position slightly increasing from 1.79 million ETH on April 12 to 1.80 million ETH on May 1.
Shapella enabled investors to withdraw the ETH locked via staking, which some argued would increase selling pressure.
Since the Shapella upgrade, investors have withdrawn over 1.97 million ETH worth around $3.6 billion, according to Beaconcha.in. Nevertheless, no major changes in cryptocurrency exchanges’ ETH balances have been seen to date.
Ethereum whales vs. shrimps
Historically, less Ethereum whales typically means heightened downside risk for ETH price.
Whale activity typically acts as a leading market indicator. So, rich investors accumulating typically precedes a price rise, and vice versa.
The price-whale positive correlation existed until March 2020, as shown in the chart below. Afterward, retail mania took over alongside the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing and the correlation snapped.
Notably, ETH price rallied from $110 in March 2020 to over $4,950 in November 2021 despite the declining whales. The inverse correlation continued throughout the price downtrend to around $850 in June 2022.
But since then, whale holdings have risen by nearly 1 million ETH. Meanwhile, ETH’s price has more than doubled to around $1,850, hinting at a possible return of the price-whale correlation, which would be a bullish…
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