5 facts everyone should know

Imagine swimming side by side with the largest mammal on earth. A blue whale. Your emotions: fear and admiration. Investors behave the same way when they come across whales swimming in the crypto sea, either surfacing or diving.

1. What are crypto whales?

In the crypto space, a whale is a person, company, or blockchain wallet that owns an extremely large amount of crypto assets. Most often, these participants are large institutions such as hedge funds and bitcoin mutual funds. But it also often happens that unknown users are classified as whales. The sea acts as a metaphor and represents the market. A wave is considered market movement. Generally, to be called a crypto whale, one must own around $20 million in cryptocurrencies. In addition to the whales, there are other names.

2. How do you recognize crypto whales?

Since every transaction can be seen on the blockchain, there are now numerous so-called blockchain explorers. For example, they rank wallet addresses by the number of cryptocurrencies contained. Well-known, popular whale tracking tools include Whale Alert or Whale Stats. On Twitter, you can immediately find out when a major transaction has been completed.

Other useful information such as the last transaction or the date of the last login is often displayed.

3. Miscellaneous whale transactions

If one of the whales transfers funds, three categories must be distinguished. Below we take a closer look at these.

Wallet-Wallet Transactions

The most unspectacular are transfers between two wallets. Large institutions or companies often decide to buy their cryptocurrencies over the counter (OTC). The advantage of this OTC trading is that there is no market movement when buying the assets. Nevertheless, the price can be retroactive to a large transaction, for example in both directions. When Tesla bought Bitcoin for $1.5 billion in 2021, it was an OTC trade. However, the BTC rate swelled enormously after the announcement of the Tesla entry. More on this here.

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Wallet Exchange Transactions

When a whale transfers its holdings from its own wallet to the stock exchange, many investors react anxiously. There is a great fear that the participant can exchange their cryptocurrency for fiat money and thus drive the price down enormously. “When there’s a significant amount of cryptocurrency supply on exchanges, chances are the people who hold them don’t want to do so long-term,” explains Coin Bureau’s Guy.

It is believed that many whales use this to manipulate the market. By scaring small investors, they dump their coins and lower the price at the same time. The whales then buy more at reduced prices and accumulate to some extent the capital that the smaller sea creatures lose. Most recently, one of these whales attracted attention by sending $3.75 billion to an exchange.

Exchange wallet transactions

“When you see hundreds of millions of dollars of cryptocurrency being sent from an exchange to a wallet, whoever is behind that wallet has no plans to sell anytime soon,” Guy continues. Transfers from an exchange to your own wallet, on the other hand, make the crypto space bullish. Withdrawing its cryptocurrencies, the whale dives and disappears into the vast expanses of the crypto ocean.

4. Interesting bitcoin whales

While many of the unknown whales are only known as address lines, there are others that are almost famous. Often there are even communities that swim after them like little cleaner fish. The best known crypto whale is probably Satoshi Nakamoto himself.

5. What to do if a crypto whale swims on your blockchain?

As in real life, whales are amazing phenomena. The size itself is amazing. Also in cryptocosm they always impress with their wealthy wallets or transactions. Nevertheless, care must be taken when handling them. If you are not careful, you can quickly be swept into the depths.

Dealing with whales is an individual decision. Anyone who holds a lot of capital in an affected cryptocurrency should be aware of the impact of a whale. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that whales could certainly sell once and for all. Sometimes it’s like rats on a sinking ship.


This article was published on September 7 this year. Before being republished, it was reviewed and adjusted accordingly.

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