Blockchain data shows that two wallets, each holding 50 BTC mined in 2010, transferred the coins to a different address. 

The resurgence in activity after 13 years of dormancy comes as Bitcoin rallied past $31,300 for the first time in one year. Market participants attribute the latest rally to renewed optimism around a spot Bitcoin ETF being approved and the dominance of Bitcoin exceeding 50% on U.S. exchanges.

While the motive behind the whales moving these coins on-chain after leaving them untouched for years on end is a mystery, one theory is that they make these transfers to send each other signals about when it’s time to pump the asset’s price, blockchain analyst Dr. Kirill Kretov told Decrypt. 

“There are some researchers who take notes on price charts about those awakenings, trying to predict the future price,” he said.

Collusion between large whales could significantly impact Bitcoin’s price in either direction. However, according to on-chain data from Glassnode, the number of entities with over 1,000 BTC has declined considerably since January 2021.

Moreover, a prospective spot Bitcoin ETF being approved could mean that large institutional players could potentially absorb any large market sell-orders from these long-term large BTC holders.

“As a gold rush of institutional-grade ETF applications are filed in the US, we have seen early signs of a revival of US-led demand,” noted Glassnode in a Monday newsletter.