The last 7 days has seen the number of Bitcoin whales increase. Even though it is not yet clear the reason for this spike in the number of big holders, there are insinuations that this could be as a result of the Russo-Ukrainian war. With crushing sanctions against Russia, it is possible that wealthy individuals in the country are seeking alternative monetary tools that would help them scale through the sanctions.

Available data from Coinmetrics shows that there is a 5% increase in the number of wallets that hold more than 1000 bitcoins in the past 7 days. These are 2,226 wallets that represent big holders and are nearly equivalent to the number that held such high numbers of BTC in May 2021, when the number of whales peaked. The last time that the number of whales were so high was last June. 

Wallets With More Than 100 BTC Also Increased

This represents a daily increase over the past 7 days. Another interesting piece of information from the Coinmetrics data is that there is also an increase in the number of wallets that hold more than 100 bitcoins. This is remarkable since it shows that the other holders who cannot be classified as whales are also increasing. This means that there are simply more whales in the making, if the trend continues.

That this increase in the number of big holders coincided with the sanctions against Russian oligarchs, has sparked speculations that funds are moving from the country to cryptocurrencies. This is despite the fact that the US and her allies are seriously seeking ways to make certain that the restrictions on the country’s monetary, economic and political systems are all encompassing.

The coinmetrics data shows that even though smaller holders that cannot be classified as whales have increased in number, the top players (with more than 1000) also increased. Wallets holding more than 100 bitcoins spiked by 1.3% within the past 7 days while those with more than 1000 bitcoins increased by 5%. As expected, fewer wallets are holding 1000 BTC than those with more than 100 BTC which are 15,953 wallets.

Possibility of Custodial Services Growth

The Cake De-Fi CEO, Julian Hosp said that there may be more millionaires showing interest in cryptocurrencies or the increase could be linked to the custodial services growth among exchanges. Other analysts believe that NATO sanctions against Russia may have motivated the very wealthy in the country to move their funds to Bitcoin and other digital currencies through exchanges. 

According to information coming out of the country, Russia’s central bank has applied some remedial measures such as shutting down the stock market and increasing interest rates. The regulator hopes that this will help in containing the situation which has caused the ruble to lose 30% of its value in just a week. 

The Rich Protect Their Wealth

Under such circumstances, the wealthy would attempt to protect their assets and cryptocurrencies are among the easily accessible assets that anyone could easily access from any part of the world. 

Since Russia invaded Ukrain last week, NATO has barred the country from SWIFT with more sanctions in the works. The French minister for foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the essence of the embargo is to cut the life-line from the Russian economy. On her own part, the ECB president, Christine Lagarde is fixated on stopping the country from taking advantage of cryptocurrencies to evade the sanctions. 

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