According to the onchain analytics firm Saint, Ethereum major holders, namely shark and whale addresses with up to 1 million ETH, have dumped $4.2 billion worth of ETH, which is 3.3 million coins in the past five weeks. The Ethereum merger took place on September 15, much to the delight of the community.
🐳🦈 #Ethereum‘s shark and whale addresses (holds 100 to 1M $ETH) fell 3.3 million $ETH in just the last 5 weeks. This is equivalent to approximately $4.2 billion in dumped coins. The asset’s price vs. #Bitcoin ebbed and flowed based on behavior of these key stakeholders. https://t.co/1L2iGaoxzg pic.twitter.com/jDkSzS6Vyk
— Santiment (@santimentfeed) October 16, 2022
The excitement surrounding the merger, which completed the network’s transition to proof-of-stake, boosted the price of Ethereum and that of related cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum Classic.
However, the brutal crypto bear market has already erased the majority of these gains. The price of Ethereum itself is at $1,284, down about 13% from the day of the merger. The massive dump of Ethereum addresses can now be considered a major contributing element to the decline.
Ahead of the much-publicized event, onchain analytics firm Glassnode pointed to the potential for a “sell-the-news” decline stemming from the merger, drawn from futures and options back to September.
It noted that the shape and scale of the volatility smile from September to October indicated relatively reduced demand for ETH exposure through options after the Merge event, which showed that traders were setting themselves up for the Merge to be a “buy the rumor , sell the news” kind of event.
This was reflected in futures traders pricing ETH at a discount post-merger and willing to pay a premium for downside protection.
Ethereum fork ETHW also fell to lows
To continue mining after the Ethereum blockchain abandoned it and successfully made the long-awaited switch to proof of stake in mid-September, miners created a competing fork called EthereumPoW (ETHW).
In addition to the fall in Ethereum price, ETHW is down 34.8% for the week at $7.30 and a staggering 87.5% from its peak of $58.54 on September 3, according to CoinGecko data.