In fact, as BofA notes in a lengthy treatise on bitcoin's "dirty little secrets", institutional demand has become more active in the past year…
With supply capped by design and supply growth built to halve every so often, the various swings in Bitcoin demand in recent years have been key to price changes. While there is no single way to split Bitcoin demand, we would differentiate between retail, whale/institutional, and illicit activity demand for crypto assets. For example, institutional announcements in the past year have led to major price increases (Exhibit 5), as a number of household names like Tesla, Square, and PayPal have incorporated Bitcoin into their businesses either as a treasury holding or as a means of payment.
Still, reported institutional holdings generally comprise of a small portion of total Bitcoin supply, led by the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) (Exhibit 6).
Which is in contrast to the retail flows that drove the 2017-18 run up
In section 2, we provide a detailed breakdown on whale/institutional demand for some of the largest accounts. We label it whale/institutional as it is unclear whether some these billion dollar plus accounts are held by a single individual or by an institution. But it seems to us that, while a flurry of retail money to Coinbase and other crypto wallets drove prices higher in 2017 (Exhibit 7), the run up in Bitcoin prices in the past year has been more broadly driven by institutional money flows.