A Chinese miner has sent nearly 5,600 bitcoin (BTC), about $124 million worth, to the Binance crypto exchange, blockchain data shows, in what might be interpreted as a move to sell the holdings.
Bitcoin miner 1Thash sent almost its entire bag of bitcoin to Binance in a series of transactions earlier this week that were flagged by the analysis firm CryptoQuant. Binance is the largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume.
The conventional wisdom among crypto traders is that large BTC inflows from miners to exchanges like Binance is a bearish signal that miners may be preparing to sell BTC. The implication is that the recent crypto rally may have pushed prices to a level that’s too impossible to resist, especially with profit margins compressed in recent months by the crypto winter.
On Jan. 17 and Jan. 19, 1Thash transferred out 2,396 and 3,336 BTC, respectively, according to CryptoQuant data.
Julio Moreno, a senior analyst at CryptoQuant, indicated that the 3,336 BTC transferred on Jan. 19 was sent directly to Binance, while 94% of the 2,396 BTC transferred on Jan. 17 sat in three different wallets before landing in Binance.
The transfers on the two days were the highest outflows in CryptoQuant’s tracking history of 1Thash, which started in July 2020, two and a half years ago.
1Thash’s outflows cut the miner’s holdings to zero, while the BTC reserve balance for all miners dropped to its lowest level in a year at 1.837 million, data from CryptoQuant shows.
1Thash’s BTC outflows to Binance came as bitcoin, the No. 1 cryptocurrency by market capitalization, climbed past $22,000.
1Thash is a “retired miner,” added Moreno, because the pool had only mined two blocks in the past 30 days. Moreover, in the past six months, 1Thash had mined only 13 blocks, data from the Mempool Open Source Project shows.
The bulk of 1Thash’s mining activity took place between Sept. 2019 and June 2021. During that time period, 1Thash mined over 4,900 blocks, 99% of its total block count.