Someone who owns a lot of crypto. This person typically makes large bids (buys) and asks (sells) in the crypto market which sometimes has an affect on the prices, especially when several whales place trades at the same time.
Whale is used to describe the big money Bitcoin players. And market for them is a big ocean where they hold the power to sway the markets in their preferred direction.
A study by the crypto forensics firm Chainalysis examined the 32 biggest whales, who together hold a little more than 1 million of the approximately 17 million Bitcoins mined to date.
32 whales are classified into four categories:
- 4 “criminal whales” who conduct illegal transactions on the Internet. Chainalysis suspects that one of these whales is currently in prison.
- 9 “trader whales” who have been actively buying and selling.
- “miner whales” are individuals who amassed large quantities of Bitcoin at a time when it was easy and inexpensive to mine.
- 5 “lost whales” are individuals who amassed large quantities of Bitcoin in the early days but, based on a total lack of wallet activity, have likely died or lost the key to their wallets.
The top 32 whales control around 6% of the supply, but that figure drops to 4.6% when lost Bitcoins are taken into account. More importantly, only a minority of these whales are regularly active in the market.