After many trials and tribulations – and even a string of bankruptcies – Bitcoin (BTC) miners have been able to catch a break in late 2023 with a significant rally in the price of the world’s foremost cryptocurrency.
The New Year saw a new trend with these companies as they started selling their cryptocurrency en masse. As of January 17, miners have sold a total of 10,600 BTC worth approximately $452 million, per an X post shared by Ali Martinez, a prominent crypto expert.
In fact, Bitcoin miners are currently engaged in active selling, and on-chain data indicates that significant selling pressure persists across the major cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the analytics platform Crypto Quant.
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This trend comes as the crypto industry is undergoing several important shifts. Exactly one week ago, on January 10. the SEC announced it had approved a long list of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – the first of their kind in the U.S.
The historic decision, while driving volume and boosting investor enthusiasm, also caused a major retracement that saw Bitcoin erase $80 billion from its market cap and the entire crypto market approximately $100 billion in just under a week.
The selloffs also come 11 days after Bitcoin mining difficulty and expenses rose by an estimated 1.78% and less than a hundred days before the halving – an event that will significantly decrease BTC supply and is expected to have a major impact on prices across the board.
Institutions increasingly interested in Bitcoin miners
As it turns out, mining companies have also benefited from significant investments from multiple financial behemoths – including those traditionally critical of, if not even opposed to, Bitcoin – which have been pumping millions into the sector throughout 2023.
BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), the world’s largest asset manager with $9.42 trillion in assets under management (AUM), has been a major shareholder of 4 out of 5 biggest mining firms since at least August 2023 and has only ramped up its involvement with these firms throughout the second half of the year.
Additionally, Vanguard – an investment firm with $7.7 trillion in AUM – has also been pumping money into Bitcoin miners and was, as of January 13, the largest shareholder of both Marathon Digital (NASDAQ: MARA) and Riot Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), despite also reportedly blocking its clients from buying the newly-approved BTC ETFs.
BTC price analysis
Bitcoin itself has been undergoing a price correction since the start of 2024 and has already faced two sharp and significant price declines. The first came on January 3, when it erased $60 billion in a day, and the second shortly after the EFT approval when it – after briefly retesting $49,000 – quickly crashed to approximately $42,000.
Since January 1, Bitcoin is down 3.61%, and the world’s foremost cryptocurrency fell another 0.56% in the last 24 hours, reaching the press-time price of $42,584.
Despite this, Bitcoin has shown some growth in the last 30 days – 2.82% – and a remarkable 52-week price increase of 101.28%. At the time of publication, it decisively retains its top position among cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $834 billion.
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