Bitcoin top signal from 2017 reappears, but here’s why it may not matter this time

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In 2017, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) reached as high as $20,000 before crashing rapidly. Now, the same on-chain top signal has reemerged, according to researchers at Glassnode. But besides much stronger fundamentals this time around, the ongoing rally feels significantly different for other reasons.

Bitcoin typically pulls back when whales take profit, causing a ripple effect throughout the cryptocurrency market. As such, when the overwhelming majority of the market is in profit, the chances of correction rises.

The percentage of Bitcoin UTXOs in profit. Source: Glassnode

98% of all Bitcoin addresses are now in profit

Since the March 2020 crash, when the price of Bitcoin dropped below $3,600 on BitMEX, BTC has rallied 260%. After such a large rally, a consolidation phase or a pullback could cause a healthier rally in the medium term.

Glassnode researchers found that the last time 98% of all Bitcoin UTXOs were profitable was in December 2017. After Bitcoin peaked at $19,798 on Dec. 16, 2017, it dropped 45% within six days to $10,961.

Weekly price chart of Bitcoin since 2017. Source: TradingView.com

At the time, many whales and retail investors took profit, causing massive volatility. Glassnode said:

“98% of all #Bitcoin UTXOs are currently in a state of profit. A level not seen since Dec 2017, and typical in previous $BTC bull markets.”

However, there are various fundamental and technical differences between the ongoing rally and the 2017 top.