The Web3 Rabbit hole

What is Whale Wallet Hunting?

Naga Pramod
Naga Pramod

According to the Telegraph industry, about 13% of the world’s bitcoin is with just 10 individuals. Coincarp holds that 10 people control 5.35% of the coin. This data is huge, especially because there are over 100 million bitcoin holders.

These individuals or entities with the larger share are known as crypto whales, and they control the market much more than many realize. Think of them as large stakeholders of an organization.

In this article, we cover every necessary detail about these major players, and we examine how these details can be incorporated into personal trading strategies.

Before delving deep, who are these crypto whales?

Who Are Crypto Whales?

A crypto whale is an individual or entity that holds large amounts of cryptocurrency. They are called crypto whales because, like whales in water, they are considerably larger than other fish and take up space.

So, the question is: Just how many coins do whales have? Although there is no particular threshold to gauge who a whale is, having a tremendous number of tokens or coins, like 1000 BTC, can make a person a whale.

Whale Wallet Hunting

It is possible to track whale movement because of how transparent blockchain is.

For instance, if a wallet address has over 1000 BTC, just about anyone can track its incoming or outgoing transactions.

There are several tools available for anyone interested in the wallets of these whales, but before we examine those tools, let’s look at the kinds of transactions they make, and the impact these transactions have on the market.

Types of Whale Wallet Transactions


Exchange to Wallet

When crypto whales don’t want to sell their assets immediately, they use hardware wallets for security purposes. This means that when a large amount is withdrawn from an exchange wallet into the whale’s wallet, they don’t plan to use those coins immediately.

These outflows reduce the inflow of certain crypto assets on exchanges and increase the rate of these assets as well, especially during times of high demand.

However, if these major players withdraw stable coins to their wallets, it will disrupt the current state of the market making it unfavorable for investors and the price of the asset will eventually plummet.

Wallet to Exchange

Wallet to exchange (or exchange inflows) are important to whales because of the nature of crypto trading.

It’s when crypto are transferred from wallet to exchanges which are the most common platforms for trading. Whenever whales transfer crypto assets to an exchange wallet, it means want to trade the assets in a short time.

For instance, a large deposit of a stable coin implies that the whale wants to make a purchase, while a large BTC deposit means the whale wants to sell coins.

Once it’s suspected that a whale wants to sell coins, the market goes down, and vice versa.

Wallet to Wallet

Due to privacy and liquidity, whales often perform something called over-the-counter crypto trades (OTC), because OTC trading services handle large trades well and prevent liquidity issues.

Unlike regular trades, OTC trades are difficult to trace and their effects on price are not too noticeable. Whenever there’s a huge transaction possibly from one whale wallet to a different wallet, it’s most likely an OTC trade.

You should know that none of the type of transactions can provide a guaranteed outcome. Crypto whales know that their transactions are aren’t kept private, so they can trigger market movements sometimes by transferring assets from wallets to exchanges and vice versa.

Why Track Whale’s Wallet?

Predict market movement

As stated earlier, whales have got huge amounts of crypto assets and as a result, hold great power in the crypto space. Transferring or even swapping their tokens can influence the direction of the market.

In other words, if you want to be able to predict where the market is headed, hunt whale wallets. Take note of the purchases they make and which asset they’re dumping. Crypto whales are interested in increasing the value of their holdings, so their transactions might most likely be to move markets in ways that favor them.

So let’s say that you’ve been watching some whale wallets, and you suddenly notice that they are buying large quantities of Ethereum. If you react quickly and buy some before the market becomes aware, there’s a good chance that you will make good profit as Eth’s price goes up due to demand.

By doing that, you’ve been able to predict the market movement.

That’s same scenario can happens if you’re an NFT whale hunter. Just by watching NFT whale wallets, you can predict when they start NFTs from an upcoming project and jump on it.  

A single whale or a group can sell a considerable number of tokens to provoke a wider market sell-off, and they buy them back at lower prices. This action can cause a significant crash in the market.

Also, they can attract retail investors by releasing a large sum of assets in exchange for crypto assets. This would make the crypto assets soar, increase the value of the whale holdings, and trigger a short squeeze.  Simply put, the market would move anywhere the whales move because they have a large impact on the market price.

Know the current state of the market

Since the markets are cyclic in nature, bear or bull markets may start alternately. Although price change is the work of retail investors, crypto whales greatly impact the market trend.

Tracking the activities of these big dogs would reveal their trading patterns and the signal of the market.

When the price goes up and the whales reduce their holdings, it is safe to assume that the market is near, especially when the retail investors increase their holdings at the same time.

How To Track a Whale’s Wallet

On-Chain Analysis

On-chain analysis is a whale tracking strategy that uses public blockchains to record data to gain insights into the crypto market. Numerous transaction details, such as transaction amount, tokens and fees, block-data rewards, smart contract code, timestamps, and miner fees help traders improve their strategies.

Small transactions are not the issue. When there are transactions of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency, then a significant change is just around the corner, and on-chain analysis helps us spot that change on time.  

It works for traders leveraging the wealth of information provided by public blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. This simply means that on-chain analysis provides information on what investors and holders are doing with their coins and tokens.

Whale tracking tools

Blockchain explorers

Blockchain explorers are a type of whale tracking tool that serve as databases for blockchain.

They provide information like transactions, wallet addresses, and records.

A typical example of a blockchain explorer is Etherscan    that allows users to set alerts to track transactions in and out of a particular address.  

Blockchain explorers act like crypto search engines, that is, they gather transactions and arrange them into searchable categories.

Using these explorers, it is easy to see the largest transactions of the day and vital details about these transactions. This feature makes it easy to track the affected wallets and spot whale movements.

Whale Alert

Whale Alert is one of the largest crypto communities with more than 1.2 million followers. They update their followers on large transactions and post these updates on their Telegram feed and Twitter timeline.

Whale alert uses bots to provide updates on blockchain transactions, and is reliable for tracking whale movement.

Now, the tools we listed are free to use as long as you know where to look and the information it provides is not bad. But the thing is investors have to do more work finding whale addresses and charting any data they collect.

In other words, they might not be the best option for a beginner. As a solution, there’s been various analytics platforms that have sprung up in recent years as a better and less-stressful alternative to whale wallet hunting. They basically get all the work done for investors alongside  access to different advanced metrics and filtering options.

These paid on-chain platforms include CryptoQuant, Crystal Blockchain, DEXter lab, TROY, and Glassnode.

Closing Thoughts

The crypto space is filled with different monetization opportunities, but you must know where to look if you want to take advantage of the opportunity. This practice will help you better understand the market and identify patterns.

On one hand, learn to keep track of what the whales are doing and do what they do before others so you can stay ahead of the curve.

On the other hand, understand that there are little to no regulations on the crypto market and the information you get may not always be trustworthy. Simply put, hunting whale wallets has its advantages but it’s advisable to do more research before making trading decisions.

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