A whale movement is a large cryptocurrency transaction. It’s a simple signal that can have a colossal effect on the price of a cryptocurrency.
Keep reading to learn how to take advantage of whale movements.
In this guide:
- Types of whale transactions
- Market Depth
- Finding wallets to track
- Tracking and analyzing wallets
Types of whale transactions
There are several types of transactions that whales can make. The most important are:
- sending crypto to an exchange
- sending crypto to a wallet from an exchange
- wallet to wallet transactions
Each of these has different price signals. It’s important to know how to identify these
Sending crypto to an exchange
Exchanges are fairly easy to identify on Etherscan. They’re usually labeled. In the picture below 400 ETH is being sent to KuCoin.
When you see a cryptocurrency is being sent from a regular wallet to an exchange wallet, it usually means that someone is about to sell. If you see hundreds of millions of dollars of a cryptocurrency being sent to an exchange, this could greatly add to the sell pressure and could even crash the price of a token.
Sending Crypto to a wallet from an exchange
In the picture below 2000 ETH is being withdrawn from KuCoin.
As expected, moving crypto off of an exchange creates upward pressure on price. Whales are less likely to sell if they’ve just moved they’re holdings off an exchange. Suppose there are enough whale movements off exchanges and into wallets for a specific cryptocurrency. The sudden reduction in market-ready supply can even be rocket fuel for positive price action.
Wallet to wallet transactions
Some whales don’t like exchanges. The large amount of crypto they’re looking to buy or sell could stir up the market. They often do Over the Counter Trading (OTC). This allows big investors to buy or sell large amounts of cryptocurrency directly from an exchange or cryptocustodian at a fixed price.
Wallet to wallet transactions are a red herring. These transactions don’t typically influence the market significantly. Moreover, it’s impossible to know who’s buying or selling until it’s too late.
One of the best ways to keep up with whale movement is through @whale_alert. It’s a great account that notifies you about large transactions.
What size transactions should we be looking for when we’re tracking wallets? This depends on something called market depth. Market depth tells you how much money is required to push the price of a cryptocurrency up or down on any given cryptocurrency exchange.
The more money it takes to push up or push down the price by 2% the greater the market depth that crypto has.
You can easily check a coins market depth under the Markets tab on CoinGecko or CoinMarketCap.
In the picture below you can see the market depth for ETH by exchange. It shows how much ETH needs to be bought or sold on a given exchange to push the price up or down 2%.
Market depth is important when considering how a whale movement will affect price. If you see 10 million dollars worth of ETH being transferred from a wallet to an exchange with a market depth of 20 or 30 million dollars to the downside, then the effect on price could be negligible.
But most altcoins have much lower market depths in the millions or even less. A 10 million dollar whale movement would have a huge effect on the price here.
Finding wallets to track
Etherscan and @DeBankDeFi are two really great ways to find wallets to track.
You can use Etherscan to research any ERC-20 altcoin. You can easily access key data like market cap, volume, and number of holders.
You can easily view how much money is going in and out, as well as the change in holdings. Here you can see the holder breakdown for Uniswap.
A really bad sign is when a large percentage of tokens are sitting in exchanges. A lot of top holders are getting ready to sell.
A great strategy to find good wallets to track is to look at wallets that got in big positions early. They might be good at identifying tokens early.
To do this look through the transfer history and sort by last.
Look for wallets that bought a lot early. This only works for relatively new coins though as Etherscan only keeps track of the last 100k transactions.
Let’s do this for AXL. This sale looks interesting. This account bought 166k AXL tokens just a few weeks after the initial sale.
View the address in the block explorer. It’s a good idea to see if this person has a history of making winning plays. Look through their ERC-20 transaction history and see if they’ve had success in the past. If so, they’re likely worth following.
Finding wallets on DeBank is really simple. DeBank ranks top ERC-20 wallets. This is a great place to get started.
You can look at their holdings and recent transaction history. Any coins you find interesting might be worth looking into.
It’s also worth looking at their address in Etherscan to identify how much success the account has had in the past.
Most altcoins are heavily correlated to Bitcoin. A Bitcoin whale movement could crush your favorite altcoin. Moreover, every day we see a few whale movements for blue chips. Some of these are large, a few of them are massive and they have a predictable effect on price.
One thing that’s rare is an old Bitcoin wallet making a transaction for the first time in a long time. These transactions could shake up the market. They usually make crypto headlines as well.
When you’re analyzing wallets, keep in mind the tokenomics of the cryptocurrency and which whale wallet the transaction is coming from. There’s a difference between the largest DogeCoin holder dumping 10 million DOGE and a smaller Dogecoin wallet doing the same. OG holders dumping is a huge negative price signal.
Look at a whale’s top holdings, and see what they’ve dumped and picked up recently. You should have a list of at least a few wallets. Coins that are owned by multiple wallets might really be worth looking into. FTM, for example, is currently held by a lot of top wallets. It’s possibly undervalued and might be worth looking into.
Scammers use these tricks as well. A lot of times they airdrop tokens and NFTs to whales. Keep an eye out for this. A block explorer could help you analyze this. Look for when a whale picked up a token. If it was a wallet-to-wallet transfer, look at the sender. It’s possible that this wallet has been sending tokens to many people. Don’t blindly follow whales. Also DYOR.
Other than that there is no trick to analyzing wallets. Whales give you a place to start. If you see a whale pick something up, then a token might be worth looking into. You should still do your own due diligence.
I hope you found this useful!
In future articles, I’ll be exploring more concepts of financial freedom, stocks, and crypto that you can use to make money.
If you’re interested in reading them, sign up for a Medium membership below and support me at the same time:
I going to be posting exclusive articles here. You don’t want to miss out.