The term "whale" was first used in the cryptocurrency community around 2013, shortly after the creation of Bitcoin. The term was inspired by the traditional financial markets, where "whales" are large investors who have significant influence over the market due to their wealth and trading volume.
In the cryptocurrency context, the term "whale" is used to describe individuals or entities who hold a large amount of a particular cryptocurrency, which gives them significant power to influence the market price of that cryptocurrency. The exact amount of cryptocurrency that constitutes a "whale" can vary depending on the size of the overall market, but in general, a whale is typically someone who holds at least 1,000 BTC (Bitcoin) or a similar amount of another cryptocurrency. Whales can use their significant holdings to manipulate the market in a variety of ways, such as by buying or selling large amounts of a cryptocurrency at once to create artificial demand or supply. They can also engage in "pump and dump" schemes, where they artificially inflate the price of a cryptocurrency before selling off their holdings to unsuspecting investors. Despite their potential to manipulate the market, whales also play an important role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. They provide liquidity to the market, and their ability to move large amounts of cryptocurrency quickly can help to stabilize the price of a particular cryptocurrency during times of volatility. Overall, the term "whale" has become an important part of the cryptocurrency lexicon, representing the powerful players who hold significant sway over the market.