Some people still doubt the fact that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets are manipulated by big-money players – commonly referred to as “whales” – who pump and dump large stocks of cryptocurrency. Those people have never heard of Nobuaki Kobayashi.
Tokyo’s Bitcoin Whale
Nobuaki Kobayashi is an attorney from Tokyo, who also just happens to be the bankruptcy trustee for the no-longer-operational Mt. Gox — the Tokyo-based exchange which filed for bankruptcy protection after losing 850,000 Bitcoins.
On Wednesday, Kobayashi disclosed that he has sold off roughly $400 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). He claims the process began last September — which also happens to be when the cryptocurrency market really started to heat up.
Kobayashi is still holding another $1.9 billion worth of Bitcoins and Bitcoin Cash, which he is also considering selling in an effort to pay off Mt. Gox’s creditors. For reference, that means Kobayashi still holds roughly 179,245.37 BTC — though that may be unevenly divided with Bitcoin’s unwanted step-brother, Bcash. Unsurprisingly, Kobayashi claimed his strategy for selling the prized cryptocurrency was comprised of little more than trying to get “as high a price as possible.” In other words, he was probably having a ball day trading with some big money. (You know when you see those 200 BTC sell walls miraculously appear and disappear?)
A screen showing prices of bitcoin at a Cryptocurrency exchange store in Seoul on December 15, 2017.
Bitcoin’s bear market week
2 Hours Ago | 06:01
Bitcoin’s drop this week paints a pretty discouraging picture for the near future, technical market analysts say.
Critically, bitcoin failed Monday to break above a key level close to $12,000, they said. The cryptocurrency has fallen more than 20 percent since amid a slew of negative headlines that have raised worries about regulatory crackdown on exchanges.
If bitcoin is to retest its highs soon, it must first top $11,500 and $14,300, said Frank Cappelleri, executive director, institutional equities at Nomura Instinet.
“Longer term, bitcoin is now back below a key uptrend line,” Cappelleri said. “The last time it tested this support line, demand flooded the cryptocurrency. If that doesn’t happen again soon, the February lows would in the cross-hairs.” For a volatile cryptocurrency that is fundamentally unlike traditional financial assets, the only certain analysis may be that the next move will be dramatic.
“Bitcoin finds itself near the apex of a narrowing pennant pattern,” Chris Kimble, founder and CEO of Kimble Charting Solutions, said in an email.
“These patterns don’t give odds per which direction the asset will take,” he said. “They do suggest a BIG move is ahead.”