Whales in Crypto: Influential Players in the Market

Whale is a term used to describe investors with unusually large amounts of cryptocurrency, especially those with enough money to manipulate the market.

Who are whales?

Whales are often thought of as the opposite of cryptocurrency fish or minnows – those who own small amounts of cryptocurrencies and have limited ability to influence market prices. On the contrary, whales are part of a special club of individuals and organizations who own enough cryptocurrency to move its spot price in the market. Typically, they exert external influence whenever liquidity is low or volatility is high.

Some of the biggest whales in the bitcoin industry include Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto and Gemini exchange co-founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. From the perspective of institutional investors, Tesla and MicroStrategy are prominent on the list because they own hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins.

Large BTC holders are often referred to as whales because they prevent BTC fish from swimming peacefully in the waters. According to Pareto’s principle, the top 20% of BTC holders own more than 80% of the BTC value in dollar terms. Whales often set speculation trends that BTC fish should follow. This can often lead to a recurring cycle where BTC fundamentals become disconnected from the fundamental drivers of cryptocurrency markets.

In some cases, no one knows the real identity of some bitcoin whales. In 2019, Australian businessman Craig Wright was sued for allegedly holding more than 1.1 million BTC. Some market observers have speculated that Craig Wright may be the real identity behind the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. According to Craig Wright, he helped create Bitcoin in collaboration with his friend Dave Klayman. The movement of huge amounts of BTC, especially from older cryptocurrency wallets, often leads to speculation that Satoshi Nakamoto is active.

Crypto Whale Tracker

Many traders and investors track what whales are buying or selling, as whales are believed to be "smart money" and have more information than the average retail buyer. Today there are many popular whale tracking sites such as WhaleWatcher, WhaleStats, Watcher Guru, etc.

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