Within the context of Bitcoin, a whale is someone who holds a large amount of bitcoin. There is no widely accepted threshold for qualifying as a whale. The single largest Bitcoin whale is Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator who mined over 1 million bitcoin and has not moved any of them since 2011. Most other whales own between 10,000 and 100,000 BTC.
Because Bitcoin still has a relatively small market capitalization, whales are capable of moving the price of Bitcoin when they buy or sell large amounts. However, unlike other assets, significant ownership of bitcoin does not result in influence over Bitcoin’s development path or decision-making process.