Did you know that merely 82 wallets hold 15% of the total supply of Bitcoin and only 3 of them have more than 575,000 BTC, summing $11.5 billion dollars?
Those accounts are considered “Crypto Whales” in the cryptocurrency community due to their large crypto holdings.
If you have ever wondered who holds the greatest amount of Bitcoin and are intrigued by its implications and possible manipulation of the cryptocurrency market, we’ve got you covered.
What is a Crypto Whale?
The ‘Сrypto Whale’ term refers to individuals, entities and governments that hold large amounts of cryptocurrencies.
Being considered a whale is subjective in terms that it might vary across coins and time. However, generally, a person or an entity with 1000 BTC in their account will be considered a Whale, which would be equal to someone having $21,997,700.
A lot of people keep an eye on Whales’ wallets to understand market patterns and further come up with investment decisions. Tracking Whales and their actions can go a long way in helping you. Although this should not be the main factor in making investment decisions, this method has its advantages.
How do Crypto Whales affect the market?
Whales have the ability to manipulate the market to get an advantage from it. Now, let’s talk about how exactly they influence the crypto market.
Effect on liquidity
Imagine the Whale wants to buy more coins at a lower price. All they need to do is start selling a significant portion of their assets. This will cause downward pressure on the crypto market and will most likely lead to increased liquidity of the coin. After that, the Whale can simply buy back their coins at a lower price.
Effect on price
The cryptocurrency prices are determined by supply (how much is available to buy) and demand (how much interest there is to buy a specific coin). Whales can also store the coins thus reducing their circulation. In this case, prices tend to rise and increase the value of the coins that have already been purchased as they could create FOMO (fear of missing out) among the market and generate desire for a particular coin.
It is impossible to determine whether they do it on purpose, but they have the power to influence price movements because of the interest other people have in their assets. It is always wise to do whale watching and keep a look at what the biggest players in the market are doing.
Here is the top Bitcoin whales ranking to pay attention to their operations:
Top 10 Crypto Whales
- Satoshi Nakamoto
- The United States
- The Winklevoss Twins
- Mathew Roszak
- Tim Draper
- El Salvador
Satoshi Nakomoto is the pseudonym used by Bitcoin’s creator, therefore, crypto’s originator. According to different sources, Satoshi Nakamoto holds 1 million BTC. As of now, that is equivalent to $21,316,000,000,00.
However, they have never been transferred nor exchanged throughout the years, inspiring several theories regarding who is truly Satoshi Nakamoto and categorizing him as the sleeping whale. The Genesis address, the very first one Bitcoin was sent to, is the following: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa
The United States
According to Finbold, the United States hold $4 billion in BTC. For a long time, the US government has maintained a side business in which it auctions off Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Interestingly the American government confiscated $1 billion in crypto in 2021 which is 8 times up from the previous year.
The blockchain technology company Block.one, developer of EOS.IO, holds 140,000 BTC - that’s around $3 billion at current prices, according to the CoinTelegraph’s estimates. This represents double the amount of their token $EOS market cap.
After a recent crypto plunge, MicroStrategy has lost on its Bitcoin bet by around $1 billion. However, Bloomberg reports that the company’s CEO Michael Saylor bought another 480 Bitcoin tokens between May 3 and June 28 for about $20,817 each. As of now, MicroStrategy owns 129,218 BTC which equals to $2,852,704,164. The company’s extensive holdings challenge the decentralised purpose for which Bitcoin was created.
MicroStrategy has bet strongly on the blockchain capacities and future, even restructuring the company’s balance sheet to adapt to crypto’s volatility. Even more, Michael Saylor recently admitted to be a Bitcoin maximalist, meaning he believes Bitcoin to be the only true cryptocurrency created, and holds that eventually cash would be worthless. Personally, Saylor is a crypto hodler and owns 17,732 BTC, over $387 million at the moment.
The Winklevoss Twins
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are considered to be some of the major BTC holders. In 2004, the Winklevoss Twins sued Mark Zuckerberg after accusing him of stealing their idea for a social network - ConnectU. According to Forbes, they then used some of their 2012 $65 million legal settlement with the Facebook CEO to accumulate Bitcoin. Together, they founded a crypto-focused angel investor company Winklevoss Capital. Forbes states that the twins still own around 70,000 Bitcoins (nearly $1.5 billion), along with the other digital assets.
This spring, Finland announced it is holding 1,981 BTC ($42,314,160,00) that were confiscated during criminal investigations. According to CoinTelegraph, the country planned to auction off the funds later on in 2022. As of now, there are no updates regarding the crypto assets being auctioned.
Matthew Roszak is the chairman and co-founder of the blockchain technology company Bloq. He also serves as chairman of the Chamber of Digital Commerce - it’s the world's first and largest trade association representing the blockchain industry. Roszak bought his first Bitcoin asset in 2012. Forbes believes he owns about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies.
Tim Draper is a founding partner of the venture capital company Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and an investor in many corporate empires such as Skype and Tesla.
After US Marshals confiscated 1 billion BTC due to criminal activities on the Silk Road black market, Draper took a chance and bought at least 30,000 BTC for $600 a coin in the auctions during 2014 and 2015. According to Forbes, if he still owns it, he has about $1.3 billion in crypto alone.
Tesla used to own 48,000 BTC which was estimated at $1,059,680,539. Back in 2021, the company invested $1.5 Bitcoin and shortly after that started accepting it as a payment method. However, shortly Tesla suspended purchases using Bitcoin due to climate change concerns.
Moreover, the company has recently sold 75% of its BTC holdings, approximately 963 million dollars.
This hectic behaviour is typical of Tesla’s founder Elon Musk, who has influenced the crypto market by favouring one coin over the other and informing through Twitter about his opinions regarding crypto.
Back in September 2021, the Salvadoran government adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender, being the first in the world, and since has made investments numerous times. El Salvador is сonsidered to be a country holding the largest amount of BTC in its treasury with 2,301 Bitcoin, CoinTelegraph reports. What is more, the country aims to create a Bitcoin City, using power from the Conchagua volcano on the Gulf of Fonseca in the southeast of El Salvador.
Divided opinions are formed towards crypto whales, some considering their actions as an abuse of power and demanding transparent regulation of their activities, while others believe they have a positive impact on the market because they allow valorising coins by holding them.
Whales might give hints regarding short-term price action being useful for crypto traders. Nevertheless, cryptocurrency volatility still plays a major role in crypto’s price, and whale orders are only one of the reasons prices oscillate.
You can sign up for a Nebeus account and begin your path to become a crypto whale.
La inversión en criptoactivos no está regulada, puede no ser adecuada para inversores minoristas y se puede perder la totalidad del monto invertido.