What Is Happening To Bitcoin Right Now?

We’re back, baby! Almost! After a precipitous drop to below $300 over the weekend, the price of Bitcoin is slowly inching up this afternoon after an interesting 31,000 BTC sell-off that blew up the market early this morning.

The “wall,” which appears to have been instigated by a single Bitcoin owner or a group which they’re calling the “Bitcoin Whale,” appeared just as the price began hovering around $300. The sheer number of bitcoins and the swiftness with which they were snapped up suggests a few interesting things.

First, it’s clear the whale had set a sell order at $300 and, in the end, walked away with about $9.3 million. This sort of dump is a perfectly fine investment strategy, especially if the coins were originally bought or mined at far lower prices. The speed with which it was snapped up also shows that the market was willing to let things fall far below the previous average price before acting. As one Reddit user, modeless, notes:

Seems pretty clear to me. An early adopter decided $300 is their breaking point. They want to cash out their $9m before they miss their chance. They’re not experienced with handling this amount of money because they’ve never been rich before; they just got lucky. They don’t have the connections to sell off-market so they decided to sell the way they know and the way that’s guaranteed to work: a Bitstamp sell order below market. They could maybe get more money with a more sophisticated trading strategy but who cares? They’ll take their $9m and retire on a beach somewhere for the rest of their lives.
That’s what I’d do if I had 30,000 BTC right now and I bet you would too.

An alternative view of the move could suggest that the whale wanted to drive the price down by flooding the market, resulting in a crisis of market confidence, allowing them to purchase the coins at a lower price. At this point in the game we can’t know for sure which of the two strategies was being employed but unless we see an equal but opposite buy back to the same wallet in the next few days we’ll be able to tell just what happened. What we do know is that the price is inching up but it’s not out of the woods yet. And, unless another whale surfaces, the price could continue fluctuate, continuing upset the bitcoin herds as their investments pop up and down like a whack-a-mole.