Data shows that whales with more than 1 million ETH have grown their holdings recently and now control 32.3% of the entire Ethereum supply, the highest level since 2016.


This holders’ cohort includes the largest of the whales on the network, hence the most influential entities in the market. And this is the highest share of the total supply that such large-scale holders have controlled since July 2016.

On the one hand, it indicates accumulation from the major investors; on the other, it also raises concerns about the increasing centralization of the asset, which has become more concentrated in the hands of the wealthy. However, Santiment didn’t specify if the data includes centralized exchanges or stablecoin issuers, which are known to hold a lot of ETH.

Meanwhile, the smaller whales with more than 1 thousand ETH seem to be in a sharp downtrend, according to Glassnode data, starkly contrasting with Bitcoin whales’ quiet accumulation.

However, some analysts, like Kunal Goel of Messari, have noted that the chart above may not been correctly adjusted for staking because “transfers to a staking contract might look like selling on chain but is not really selling at all.”

André Dragosch, head of research for Deutsche Digital Assets (DDA), also called the ETH whale-selling drama a “nothing burger,” noting that “the percentage of supply tied in smart contracts is increasing concordantly.”

Meanwhile, Coinbase’s researchers in a recent report suggest that investor demand for ether (ETH) staking is leveling off, as the Ethereum blockchain validator queue has emptied for the first time since the Shanghai upgrade in May.


At the same time, staking rewards APY at the same time have dropped to 3.5% from more than 5%, and “with no major Ethereum protocol upgrades until Dencun, which is likely to occur in the first half of 2024, we see no major technical drivers that would meaningfully impact on-chain activity,” Coinbase’s researchers noted.

In this context, the ETH’s losing streak against Bitcoin has reached 15 months with no signs of reversal yet. Developments around the highly anticipated approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF(s) only add to this dynamic in the short- and mid-term.

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