Whales are the largest ocean-dwelling creatures, and the narrative behind such repute is not different from the cryptocurrency world. In the crypto space, whales are described as individuals or entities who own or hoard most of the cryptocurrency available.
This identity of ownership boils down to the coinage of a Bitcoin whale, which is a single wallet address that has over 1000 BTC in it. So people who own a large number of other cryptos are called “crypto whales.”
Over the years, the popularity of crypto whales is beginning to gain traction in the crypto space, especially in the nexus of Bitcoin. It could be recalled that the Bitcoin price rallied to a new high of $20,000 in 2017, As a result of a push from a single Bitcoin whale. This is also followed by the market cap of Bitcoin hitting at over $1.1 billion, in 2020, as another user pushed it to that feat.
However, it is worthy of note that these occurrences might be uncommon but they are already gathering momentum in recent weeks. Similar to the social media influencers we have around, whales make money from influencing how other crypto traders trade. It is to this end that keeping a tab on the operations of these whales is crucial.
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How Do Crypto Whales Take Advantage Of Cryptocurrency?
Ordinarily, whales work to place a huge sell order on books that are lower than other sell orders in the crypto market. This consequently causes a dip in price and higher volatility in the market, following a panic chain response to that effect.
The market would only revert to the market status quo (stability) upon the withdrawal of these huge sell orders by the crypto whales, perhaps after enough panic has been triggered. So this gives an undertone of whales being the major players (determinants) of crypto price, thereby enabling them to earn more coins at their preferred targeted price.
This wealth creation strategy by whales is followed by what is referred to as the “sale wall.” Meanwhile, due to the utmost anonymity put in place while creating cryptocurrencies, it is difficult to trace individual or organization crypto accounts.
There is a considerable number of people with huge ownership of various coins in varying quantities. Notable Bitcoin whales include Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, who is believed to own approximately a million Bitcoins. Also, about 1% of every Bitcoin was formerly held by the Winkelvoss twins, who were portrayed by Armie Hammer in The Social Network movie.
Moreover, large Bitcoin wallets reportedly exist on exchanges like Binance, Bitfinex, and Huobi. Most of this money belongs to the owners of the respective exchanges, and as such, moving money across different crypto exchanges is of little impact on the market.
Why Are Crypto Whales Important?
Supply and demand is the major determining factor of the value of cryptocurrencies. The price of coins in circulation increases with an increase in the considerable fraction of a coin’s quantity kept from circulating. This can lead to a significant drop in the coin’s value when there is a sudden liquidation of many coins in the market.
With the influence of whales, they can easily manipulate the crypto market to their advantage, as they are in control of the supply and demand of cryptocurrencies.
For instance, in the event of a whale wanting to buy more coins at a relatively low price, all the whale would do is sell some of its assets. This will have a tremendous impact on the market, such that, the market will experience a downward pressure that would provoke more sales. The coin’s liquidity will then be increased at a lower price.
Upon setting the market on fire sales, the whale can simply buy their coins again at a low cost. They have the prerogative to keep the coins and reduce supply. When the price increases again, the value of the coin they’ve bought will surge.
Therefore, the above instance is just a way by which crypto whales can significantly influence the market, as the power they possess.
Examples Of Bitcoin Whales
Bitcoin is synonymous with pseudonyms. This translates to account holders’ names being hidden from public view, although the digital ledger (blockchain) keeps a complete track of all transactions and addresses.
Nonetheless, we can presume the identity of some Bitcoin whales in the market.
1. Satoshi Nakamoto
Demystifying Satoshi Nakamoto’s personality is something that has not been satisfactorily achieved. Although the different story about it lingers, the unraveling is yet to be in totality.
However, Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, who is a self-acclaimed designer of Bitcoin with the aid of his friend Dave Kleiman, is a possible contender for the “real” Satoshi Nakamoto.
In 2019, Wright was sued by Kleiman’s estate for half of his alleged1.1 million BTC. Due to the inability to strike a balance between the secret behind Wright and Nakamoto’s personality, the true identity places doubt in the minds of many.
Wright would be among the top 3 Bitcoin whales if he had 1 million BTC.
2. Barry Silbert
Barry Silbert is the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group. He is a key investor in over 75 Bitcoin-related businesses. One of the subsidiaries of Digital Currency Group is Coindesk, a major source for Bitcoin news. Close to the US government auction as Draper, Silbert was once alleged of obtained about 48,000 BTC.
3. Tim Draper
American venture capitalist, Tim Draper is a founder of a business conglomerate that includes Draper University, Draper Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper Goren Holm, and Draper Venture Network.
Other establishments with Draper’s stream of investment are Hotmail, Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, Coinbase, Twitch, Robinhood, Skype, and Cruise Automation.
Draper is also reputed as an early Bitcoin investor, having purchased 42,000 BTC for $6 each. Today, Draper is among the top 15% of Bitcoin investors.
4. The Winklevoss Twins
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are the twins portrayed by Armie Hammer in The Social Network movie. They were considered the early adopters of Bitcoins. The twins are said to own over 100,000 BTC, making them among the likely top 3 whales.
It is no doubt that whales are the largest mammals in the world. To this similar fact, crypto whales are the most powerful investors in the market. But having an exit strategy or a profit benchmark you want to make and sticking to it would prevent you from making costly mistakes in long-term investments. The true safety strategy lies in your understanding of crypto trading.