What are Bitcoin whales and how to spot them?

What are Bitcoin whales?

Bitcoin whales are people or organizations with substantial Bitcoin (BTC) holdings who are capable of influencing the market through their trading tactics.

The term “Bitcoin whale” is colloquially used to denote a holder with a significant stake compared to smaller participants, often referred to as “smaller fish” within the market. The owner of the wallet or cluster of wallets controlled by one entity may be an individual or a group that is pooling funds to make large investments.

Their vast holdings have been accumulated through mining, early investments and other methods. Whales have access to substantial Bitcoin holdings, which gives them the power to manipulate the market by making significant asset purchases or sales that result in price fluctuations. The abundance of whales and extreme volatility are frequently linked in the cryptocurrency space.

How much money makes a crypto holder a Bitcoin whale?

A person or organization is deemed a “Bitcoin whale” if they possess a significant quantity of Bitcoin; however, the threshold for this classification is not set. The widely acknowledged benchmark for being considered a Bitcoin whale stands at 1,000 BTC. This threshold is commonly cited by cryptocurrency analytics firms such as Glassnode, when identifying network entities (clusters of addresses) with a minimum of 1,000 Bitcoin.

As of March 2024, the distribution of Bitcoin ownership is highly concentrated. Only three Bitcoin addresses hold between 100,000 and 1 million BTC, totaling 577,502 BTC. The next 108 largest owners possess a combined total of 2,437,765 BTC, with individual holdings ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 BTC. Together, these 111 wealthiest addresses account for approximately 15.34% of the total Bitcoin supply.

Why do Bitcoin whales influence the market?

Whales wield significant influence over its market dynamics. Their massive holdings give them the power to sway Bitcoin’s supply and demand, triggering price fluctuations with their trades. When whales increase their Bitcoin stash, prices tend to soar, while selling off portions of their holdings can lead to…

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