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What Are Bitcoin Whales and How to Spot Them?
May 15, 2024

What Are Bitcoin Whales and How to Spot Them?

‘Bitcoin whales’ is not just a curious term. These are major players in the crypto market. They can influence Bitcoin – and altcoins, too. This happens when Bitcoin whales decide to buy or sell large cryptocurrency volumes.

Bitcoin whales are individuals or companies that hold significant amounts of digital assets. These crypto resources enable them to impact price movements with a single transaction.
The entry ticket for a Bitcoin whale is 1,000 BTC on the crypto account.

The term’ Bitcoin whale’ is a metaphor, just some poetry in the rigid and mathematical crypto world. It is meant to put the size of the holding in perspective when compared to ‘smaller fish’ in the crypto aquarium. A bitcoin whale can be plural as the wallet owner can be an individual or an entity pooling resources to make significant investments.

Understanding Whale Activity

As bitcoin whales are big fish in the crypto ocean, they make big decisions. The size of their assets and their investment in analyzing their market behavior determines their choices.
To make a long story short, whale marketing activity resembles traditional fiat currency trading. At least, the model is the same. Big transactions influence the market and bitcoin for the wealth of the whales.

They are self-dependent on the crypto market. It would be fair to perceive bitcoin whales as trendsetters. This is why learning and understanding their strategy is essential to use it for your own interests.

How to Spot a Bitcoin Whale?

Now, it is the right time to ask: how do you spot a Bitcoin whale, and who are Bitcoin whales, in general?

Knowing how to spot a bitcoin whale can be a helpful instrument in your Bitcoin trading arsenal, given its potential to impact the market with a simple buy or sell order.

Crypto fans have always been curious to know how many Bitcoin whales are in the open market. Let’s look at the ways you can spot a true whale.

There are three main variants:

1) Using Blockchain Explorers

Bitcoin’s public ledger allows anybody to access all transactions. Using a blockchain explorer such as, one can quickly identify large amounts of Bitcoin being moved.

2) Analyzing Trade Patterns

Whales are about big digital money and large trades. Operating with such amounts leads to unpredictable price dips or rises. If you study trading patterns, the emergence of unusual activities might spot a Bitcoin whale making a move.

3) Browsing Social Media

Some, but not all, Bitcoin whales are social media fans. They can share their opinions on investment strategies and the crypto market. You can learn some insights from their trading behavior and use them for profit.

Let’s take a look at the big fish in the crypto world.

The #1 in our Bitcoin whale list is Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ. He is the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. He invested heavily in BTC in 2014, becoming one of the first Bitcoin whales. In 2017, the startup he called Binance took off. Since then, he has become even wealthier. His net worth is currently around $10.5 billion.

Then, our Bitcoin whales tracker indicates Brian Armstrong, the Coinbase CEO. Armstrong is among the biggest fish, too. His net worth was estimated at $2.5 billion as of 2023.

Finally, let’s look at the so-called Bitcoin billionaires, or the Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron. They became famous when they said that a guy named Mark Zuckerberg had stolen their social media idea. The twins and Zuckerberg settled in 2012. According to the deal, he paid them $65 million. The brothers invested in Bitcoin around 70,000 tokens. Today, the twins have an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion.

These people are among the biggest Bitcoin whales in the world. Please keep in mind that not only individuals but entities possess comparable amounts of cryptocurrency.

Risks of Following Bitcoin Whales

Following crypto whales can be tricky for traders. One of the most significant advantages is gaining market insights. As whales make large trading decisions, their actions can significantly impact investors’ opinions of a digital asset.

For example, If whales begin to sell large chunks of their bitcoin holdings, investors could have their confidence swayed. This may lead to bearish pressure on the price of the asset. On the other hand, bitcoin whales can make the price of an asset skyrocket. This would lead to bullish trends among investors. Having the correct information at the right time regarding whale trading just before everyone else figures it out could put you in the driving seat!

Whale activity can also hint at non-public information that could affect crypto markets. Analyzing the whales’ behavior can warn you early about these developments and help investors make sensible and informed investment decisions.

For example, a whale might have insights into a partnership between a DeFi project and a huge international brand. Spurred by this sensible information, the whale might buy a significant token. This would immediately push the price of this asset up. Investors who check out this transaction may then speculate if it was a sign of this potential partnership or if the whale made the trade for other reasons. The thing is that it won’t be 100% clear until the transaction actually happens.

Please keep in mind that crypto traders and investors shouldn’t rely blindly on whales’ actions when making trading decisions. Such an adaptive approach can be risky. Whales can and often do manipulate markets to benefit themselves at the expense of others. This is a tricky game. Bitcoin whales make up a massive chunk of alternate inflows that can disorientate inexperienced traders.

Another potential danger of bitcoin whale-watching is the informational disproportion. Such a strategy can disadvantage ‘smaller fish.’ Whales can access exclusive or sensitive information that usual traders cannot. In this case, investors should undertake fundamental research to ensure they don’t fall victim to various shady schemes.

It’s also essential to remember that such big actors, like any other investors, can get emotional and make decisions not based on rational grounds. In this case, mindlessly following whales – without calm research – could lead to poor investment decisions.

How Do Whales Influence the Market?

Whales’ position as the biggest actors in the bitcoin market makes them very influential. Their huge assets allow them to affect Bitcoin’s current demand significantly. These digital funds can provide them with supply on exchanges—or via OTC trading platforms—whenever they trade. As a result, the market often reacts with volatility.

The Bitcoin price often increases when a whale decides to add to their position due to the size of their trades. Conversely, if a Bitcoin whale chooses to exit their position by selling a portion of their holdings, the market goes bearish.

Moreover, traders and experts publicly track many whales’ wallets. This can lead to the broader Bitcoin trading community responding to a whale’s decisions or expected trades in one way or another. It can often result in a significant price movement as plenty of traders mirror the whale’s expected trade.

Finally, on the internet, you can find a crypto gag: ‘Chinese whales dumping Bitcoin.’ This assumption probably comes from the assessment that China as a state, according to some crypto experts, currently owns more Bitcoin than flagship investors like MicroStrategy, Galaxy Digital Holdings, and Tesla. According to some estimates, China owns 194,000 Bitcoin and 833,000 Ethereum tokens. It can send the market downwards if it wishes to, just like a typical Bitcoin whale. Still, such an assumption remains to be confirmed by independent researchers.

Bitcoin Whales in the Global Market

On the international level, crypto whales can help prevent prices from crashing or causing crashes with a single move. They do this by manipulating the crypto market sentiment. The cost of a crypto asset is likely stable. The market will likely go bearish if a whale chooses a tactic to sell a substantial amount of coins.

The asset’s price will likely increase if a Bitcoin whale buys considerable crypto. Any major buy or sell order could cause other investors to follow their lead. For exchanges, this can be a challenge, as Bitcoin whales can impact the liquidity of a particular coin.


Whale-watching can be both inspiring and insightful. It can help you make informed investment decisions. Plus, it can also alert you of any potential price movements or lead you to discover exclusive information.

However, whale-watching is not the ultimate strategy. It must not replace in-depth research into projects and coins. Crypto traders must avoid making investment decisions based solely on whale activity. Relying on crypto fundamentals such as tokenomics and liquidity is the right way to make smart and sensible decisions regarding your crypto trading.


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