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Bitcoin, Ethereum whales swimming out of Huobi, with a huge catch

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After China’s crackdown on crypto transactions, exchanges began to limit their services for China-based users. FUD rapidly spread and many traders began to wonder what penalties they might face for violating the latest ban.

Around the same time, the normally calm weekend saw a frenzy of Bitcoin and Ethereum whales moving their coins from addresses the crypto exchange, Huobi, which was founded in China.

A whale-planned getaway

The Whale Alert Twitter account sounded the alarm as Bitcoin whales moved around 22,000 BTC or about $952,215,000 (at press time) from the Huobi exchange, to other locations and unknown wallets. The transfers began around 26 September at 03:43 UTC.

Source: Twitter @whale_alert

Ethereum whales were not idle either. At around 06:49 UTC on 26 September, whales moved around 800,000 ETH in instalments of 100,000 ETH or $2,403,039,390 (at press time) from Huobi to other locations and unknown wallets.

Though there were a number of high-value movements, they mostly came from a few wallets making repeated transfers.

Source: Etherscan

Swimming to new harbors

However, the whales aren’t necessarily hodling [or hiding] their coins. Glassnode data showed that Ether exchange inflow volume just reached a one-month high of 12,342.276 ETH, based on the seven day moving average.

However, when looking at the daily on-chain exchange flow for 26 September, Glassnode data showed that $629.6 million left exchanges in BTC while $590.5 million left exchanges in ETH. Both coins saw a negative net flow of more than $100 million each.

News from exchanges

In August this year, Huobi saw an inbound transfer of $740 million in Bitcoin. However, the more recent whales have moved far more in Bitcoin and Ether through the exchange and off it.

Looking at China’s latest ban, investment strategist Raoul Pal suggested that the move could have been a way to clear the crypto scene before the country’s launch of the digital yuan. China’s CBDC has entered the pilot stage, with four cities taking part in the trial. The government is aiming to launch the digital yuan in time for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022.

In an announcement, Huobi Global stated it had “ceased account registration for new users in Mainland China” and would  “gradually retire existing Mainland China user accounts” before 2022. Binance has also stopped users with Chinese phone numbers from signing up. Binance, Huobi, and OKEx had been previously blocked by Chinese search engines.

At press time, the Bitcoin Fear and Greed index recorded a value of 27. Meanwhile, the Ethereum Fear and Greed Index recorded a value of 34. Both signaled fear.


Sahana is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. She has a Masters in Journalism and her areas of study include crypto-regulation, digital society, privacy, and intersectionality. Ask her about film photography and philately.
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