With the advent of the blockchain and the first cryptocurrencies, many began to be interested in this area. After some time, many economists, scientists talked about the prospects of this trend and began to predict huge profits for the crypto community. Now, when Bitcoin already costs more than $4,000, not only people from this industry, but representatives of various professions know about cryptocurrency.
But at the same time, having sensed how large sums are spinning here, the most ordinary criminals moved into the world of crypto: starting from petty fraudsters, ending with huge criminal organizations. The purpose of the latter is mainly Bitcoin whales.
Who are bitcoin whales?
Bitcoin whales is a concept usually used for describing people who have more than a thousand bitcoins on their wallets. According to some assumptions, some of them belong to Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of Bitcoin), and the other part is on the wallets of large businesses that use Bitcoin.
But Bitcoin whales can also be people who bought the first cryptocurrency far in 2010-2011, just for an experiment, supporting the idea and the concept of blockchain or just for fun. And then, thanks to the Bitcoin’s cost rise, many of this people became millionaires or even billionaires. And it is not that they are owners of a huge Bitcoin company or business.
How many bitcoin whales are there now?
According to the Chainalysis study, the number of wallets with a total sum of more than 1000 BTC is approximately 1600. In total, they have the third part of all coins on the market (5 million coins) which total cost is $37.5 billion. Some of these funds are considered irretrievably lost (from 2.3 million BTC to 3.7 million BTC). 100 of these 1600 addresses have on themselves from 10 000 BTC to 100 000 BTC.
Also, according to the experts, out of 1600 specified addresses, 600 bitcoin whales belong to the category of speculators.
Is it good or bad?
Most likely it is bad because when so much of the total amount of funds is in the hands of a small number of people, this can lead to great risks of a change in the price of cryptocurrency. For example, there is such a practice that it is “not accepted” to trust ICO projects, who hold more than 40-50% of their own coins. Because at some point they can sell off these coins and lead the price of cryptocurrency to a sharp fall.
What are the problems of bitcoin whales?
Sometimes there comes a time when you don’t want to keep Bitcoins in your wallet anymore. Maybe you have a desire to buy a car, a house, a yacht, and an island. When it comes to the exchange of 5-10 bitcoins, then most likely you will not be the aim of “serious fraudsters”. But what if you want to exchange 2,000, 5,000 or 10,000 Bitcoins right away?
The only thing that can be advised is to be careful because sometimes your transaction can lead not only to the loss of a huge amount of money, but also your life.
The process when your money is being stolen
Let's imagine the situation. What if you need to withdraw a huge amount of money. Let's say 2000 BTC. It is approximately $40 million (1 BTC = $4000). The most important question that should interest you is how to find a buyer.
- Don't underestimate scammers. They have all the necessary information about people who want to sell a large number of bitcoins. They sit in crypto forums, read the news and do anything to find whales.
- Most often, they pretend to be intermediaries of some influential people. Supposedly one of these people, for example, some serious businessman, wants to acquire several thousands of the first cryptocurrency. And he is ready to exchange them at a good price.
- After a European city is selected, in order to give the transaction a more “luxurious look”.
- The seller of cryptocurrency comes to the place of the transaction, but at some fine moment instead of a bag with dollars a gun is placed in front of him. It remains to choose between money or life.
Maybe you think that people with such amount of money should be very smart and not fall for scammers. But it is very important to understand that Bitcoin is not yet so liquid as currencies like dollars or euros, and exchange a huge amount of BTC at once is a rather complicated operation. In turn, fraudsters who hunt for bitcoin whales are not amateurs in their activities, can show their (non-existent) professionalism, pay attention to details, be really very convincing. So getting caught is actually not the most difficult thing.
Of course, whales generally do not fall into the traps, but for such criminals, there will be enough to catch one every six months or a year. If the whale agreed to a personal meeting with a fraudster, then consider that only a miracle or “hunter’s” unprofessional actions can save him.
In general, beware of criminals, be careful, and if you want to know more information, what other types of fraud may be in the crypto world, then read our material about ICO scammers.