The term “Whale”, within the field of cryptocurrency refers to cryptocurrency holders that hold large amounts of Bitcoin. This ownership is apparently so huge that these individuals are capable of manipulating currency valuations.
In essence, the holders are called whales as they have the capability of disturbing the waters, (the cryptocurrency landscape) that smaller fish, (other cryptocurrency traders) are swimming in. The label follows the 80-20 rule, the “Pareto Principle” wherein the 20% of the trader population hold greater coins compared to the 80%.
Whales can pose as a problem for Bitcoin due to the concentration of wealth, especially if the coins are stagnant in their accounts. In effect, the stagnation lowers the liquidity of these assets.