How the massive activity of Bitcoin buyers in Coinbase drove the price of BTC to over $32,000

The price of Bitcoin rose to over $32,000 when Coinbase buyers aggressively built up BTC.

Coinbase has seen a big spike in buyer activity during the early hours of the morning, as the price of Bitcoin (BTC) exceeded USD 32,500 on January 2. Analysts say the trend was reminiscent of MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin buildup, possibly fueled by institutional buy orders. As a result, BTC rose above USD 31,000, reaching a new all-time high.

Bitcoin price rises rapidly to USD 31,000, liquidating USD 100 million in short positions

Coinbase buyers were the catalyst for Bitcoin’s price increase
In the last 48 hours, Coinbase has consistently seen a high premium compared to Binance. At one point, Bitcoin’s price on the exchange was $100 more than Binance.

When Bitcoin’s price exceeded $30,000, the premium reached $350. For example, when Bitcoin was trading at $30,000 on Binance, BTC was priced at $30,350 on Coinbase.

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Before the rally, CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju said Coinbase’s low exits posed a risk to Bitcoin’s rebound. He said the exits would have to increase for BTC to find new momentum, which it did. Ki said before the rally:

„We have had no significant exits from Coinbase since the $23k, the token transfers are decreasing and the cash flow rate of all exchanges is increasing. It is still possible that institutional investors will join soon, but we could see a correction if this continues“.
As Bitcoin approached $29,500, Coinbase’s outflows began to rise. Ki said that these are possible OTC deals, which are often optimistic for BTC and exemplify a broader trend of declining BTC reserves on exchanges.

As we pumped, another 34K btc casually pulled out of the exchange in the last few blocks.
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High net worth buyers use the open market to buy or sell large quantities of Bitcoin. Therefore, when the signs of OTC deals emerged, Ki said this was positive for BTC. Just two days after the outflows increased, BTC surpassed USD 30,000, reaching USD 31,400 shortly thereafter. Ki pointed out before BTC broke $30,000:

„12,063 $BTC has just come out of #Coinbase. They went to multiple cold wallets. Possibly OTC deals. Breaking the 30k is going to be difficult, but the institutions don’t care. They just buy it more.

Leaving #Coinbase. Source: CryptoQuant
Why is BTC becoming so attractive?
According to Ashwath Balakrishnan, an analyst at Delphi Digital, Bitcoin became more attractive when it surpassed its historical high.

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When the price of Bitcoin was around USD 4,000, the risk of a significant fall was high, combined with great uncertainty about BTC’s medium-term outlook.

Therefore, when Bitcoin managed to exceed USD 20,000, the dominant cryptomone became more attractive to investors. He said:

„Buying $BTC after its historical high is really superior to targeting the fund from a risk-adjusted lens. If you bought at $20k you are up 50% with minimal friction between the fund’s buyers ~ $4k are up almost 8 times but their risk of exploding was much higher“.
In the short term, a popular narrative that could drive up the price of Bitcoin is the prediction that institutions might not have bought BTC in December due to potential accounting problems.

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As such, some analysts say that more institutions could jump to Bitcoin in the first quarter of 2021. If this happens, which would be evident through the assets under management of Grayscale and the open interest of the WEC’s Bitcoin futures market, it would probably cause a wider BTC rally.