Market Analysis

A Bitcoin whale just shorted $100M BTC — Are big holders expecting a larger drop?

A Bitcoin (BTC) whale placed a $100 million short on Bybit, according to the pseudonyms trader CL. It comes after various on-chain data points toward a whale-driven sell-off throughout the past week.

Though the momentum of Bitcoin remains strong, there are many reasons that make $16,000 an attractive area for sellers.

There is significant liquidity at $16,000, primarily because it is a heavy resistance level. But the level has seen relatively high buyer demand, stablecoin inflows show. Hence, the battle between buyers and sellers at $16K makes it an area with high liquidity, which is compelling for sellers.

Bitcoin orderbook on futures exchanges. Source: CL, Exocharts

Increasing signs of whales taking profits

A seller aggressively sold Bitcoin on Bybit on Nov. 15. Order flows show that there were sell orders worth around $3.5 million on average consecutively over several hours.

Based on the abrupt large-scale sell order, CL suggested that this may result in two scenarios.

First, the seller could get engulfed and cause a squeeze, which might cause the BTC price to increase. Second, it could continue to apply selling pressure on BTC. The trader wrote:

“Approx 2 hours ago, someone aggressive sold almost ~100M on Bybit, a 3rd of the sells are opens, personally pretty curious to see what happens if this seller/shorter does get engulfed, or if he is let free.”

Meanwhile, other major exchanges have spotted large deposits over the last 24 hours. United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini saw a 9,000 BTC deposit, according to the data from CryptoQuant.

Gemini BTC inflow mean. Source: CryptoQuant

Whales typically utilize exchanges with strict compliance and strong regulatory measures, which include platforms like Coinbase and Gemini.

Considering the large Bitcoin deposit into Gemini, which is worth $143 million, a pseudonymous researcher known as “Blackbeard” said it is time to be cautious.

Just weekend volatility?

As CL noted, Bitcoin’s current market structure is different from the previous cycle. For instance, when BTC was at $16,000 in 2017, the market was extremely overheated with extreme volatility. The trader said:

“Back in 2017, when we pumped from 10k, 15, into 20k, we had OKEx weekly futures trade in 1000$ contangos, now we’re here with quarterlies only 100$ above.”