Bitcoin whales - who are they and how can they manipulate BTC price?

2 min reading

Whales - the biggest Bitcoin investors on the market, have a significant influence on the price movements of this crypto. Although little is known about this group until today, their identity can be speculated on. The role they play in the digital gold ecosystem is enormous.

btc whales who are they

Bitcoin whales - who is one of them?

Although opinions on what aspects need to be met to qualify as Bitcoin whales vary, it seems that the most sensible solution would be to identify the 100 cryptocurrency portfolios that have the largest amount of Bitcoins (excluding those that belong to stock exchanges and cryptocurrencies platforms).

Due to the nature of the cryptocurrency market and the anonymity associated with the portfolios to which Bitcoins are assigned, it is difficult to judge to whom the addresses with the largest amounts of BTC belong. However, media reports allow speculation on who could qualify for the group of big fishes.

Here are the 10 institutions and people who may hold the largest amounts of BTC

  • Barry Silbert - founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group. According to Forbes reports, his cryptographic resources could be worth $500 million in January 2018.
  • Tim Draper - founder of Draper Associates. In 2014 he bought 29 656 Bitcoins.
  • Michael Novogratz - founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital. He invested a significant part of his fortune in BTC. In January last year he had assets worth one billion dollars.
  • Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss - co-founders of the Gemini Crypto Exchange. In 2011 they reportedly acquired Bitcoins for $11 million. At that time, one BTC was only worth $120.
  • Blockchain Capital - an investment fund and venture capital company. It invested in startups related to the crypto industry and in numerous cryptocurrencies.
  • Brock Pierce - co-founder of Blockchain Capital and Apparently, he accumulated a billion-dollar cryptocurrencies, but he did not invest exclusively in Bitcoin.
  • Matthiew Roszak - founder of Tally Capital investment fund. It is reported that he has cryptocurrencies portfolios worth between 900 million and one billion dollars.
  • Changpeng Zhao - CEO and founder of the Binance crypto exchange. He has accumulated a fortune of between $1.1 billion and $2 billion. Although much of this amount can be kept in Binance Coin, he probably also invested in Bitcoin.
  • Roger Ver, also known as Bitcoin Jesus. Although he is mainly associated with Bitcoin Cash, he is said to have owned about 400 thousand BTC in 2014.
  • Brian Armstrong - CEO and founder of Coinbase. In January 2018 he had one billion dollars in cryptocurrencies

The list presented is certainly not complete. However, the selected individuals may be among the largest market players.

The impact on the market

Bitcoin whales are a very important part of the market. It is the mass movements of their coins that can have a huge impact on the price of BTC. This is how buying or selling trends are created. With this in mind, the big fish that decide to sell some of their Bitcoins can lead to a sharp drop in the price of cryptocurrency. As a result, many other investors start to panic selling out of their coins. The same dependence also occurs in the opposite situation. When large quantities of coins are purchased from the market, there are sudden increases in the price of Bitcoin. This in turn leads other players to buy it.

While many people suggest that large players only manipulate the market, in some cases the impact of their buying decisions was more positive than negative. For example, a report issued by Chainalysis revealed that owners of the 32 largest Bitcoin portfolios were trading in a herd, buying BTC at a price drop. In fact, the research indicates that already in 2011, the biggest market players were more responsible for Bitcoin's upward movements than its downward movements. This suggests that although whales have too much power over Bitcoin's price, a large part of them have long been trying to make this market successful.