“Bearwhale” originates from the cryptocurrency community, particularly from Bitcoin circles. It’s a portmanteau of “bear” and “whale.” Here’s a breakdown of the two components:
1. Bear: In financial markets, a bear believes that a particular asset’s price will decrease. This comes from the way a bear attacks its prey, swiping downwards. A bearish market is one in which prices are falling or expected to fall.
2. Whale: In cryptocurrency, a whale is an individual or entity holding a large amount of cryptocurrency. Because of their significant holdings, whales can exert considerable influence on the market price if they buy or sell large amounts of the cryptocurrency.
The term “Bearwhale” became particularly famous in the Bitcoin community because of an event in 2014 where an unknown trader placed an order to sell 30,000 Bitcoins at a price of $300 each on the Bitstamp exchange. This massive sell order, visualized in the order book, looked somewhat like a creature and community members started referring to this trader as the “Bearwhale.” Buyers gradually chipped away the Bearwhale’s massive sell order until it was fully consumed. The event became a symbolic battle between buyers and a massive seller and has since taken on legendary status in the crypto community.
The story of the Bearwhale is often used as an example of the unpredictable and wild nature of cryptocurrency markets and the resilience and determination of the Bitcoin community.