Big Whales Control the Cryptocurrency Market?
The Common Opinion
Investors present in the Bitcoin market are well aware of the crazy volatility and are forced to deal with it. Many believe that the “big whales,” investors with large amounts of cryptocurrency, are responsible for the wild jumps in prices. One such sensational example, according to the Bloomberg publication, is related to the sale of 50,000 bitcoins with one “whale” in early August, which led to a 15% reduction in prices.
According to the results of a study by Chainalysis, it became known that far from those mentioned above, “big whales” influence such volatility. According to the company, serious investors, on the contrary, help to stabilize the price, despite the contradictions.
Chainalysis is a company that specializes in blockchain research in order to detect, prevent, and investigate the process of money laundering, fraud, and the implementation of violations through cryptocurrency.
Who Are Those ‘Whales’?
An analysis of the largest Bitcoin wallets showed that 32 portfolios hold approximately one million crypto coins worth 6.3 billion dollars. While the transparency of Bitcoin blockchains allows everyone to track transactions made from a public address, it is still impossible to find out all the details about this owner. This is how anonymity works on this network.
Chainalysis analyzed the transaction history of these wallets and arranged them as follows:
- Traders: This group has nine wallets that own 332,000 coins totaling $ 2 billion. These are active traders who make up ⅓ of the number of “big whales” and regularly enter into transactions on exchanges. Most of all, they traded on the market in 2017.
- Crypto community pioneers/miners: this is the category of people who have mastered the market before 2017. This group includes 15 people who own 332,000 coins totaling $ 2 billion. Basically, these are the owners of the crypto, and the trading activity of this group is very low.
- Lost Wallets: This is a group of 5 wallets containing 212,000 coins worth $ 1.3 billion. The owners of these wallets have lost their personal keys, and no transactions from these addresses have been observed since 2011.
- Fraudsters/Scammers: This category includes the owners of three wallets, where the total amount of all coins is approximately 790 million dollars. Two of the three “whales” are associated with the “Silk Road” of the DarkNet market, while one is involved in the money laundering process.
Do These ‘Whales’ Cause The Volatility?
As indicated in the classification above, active traders represent only ⅓ of all 32 wallets, and this is the only group that is involved in active trading. Since the trading dynamics of these wallets on exchanges are not available, the obtained transaction history from these addresses shows that they bought more than they sold during the jumps in 2017 and 2018, which led to net profit for their stocks. It turned out that the whales helped to stabilize and maintain the price of Bitcoin rather than lower it.