On October 6, 2014 (eight years ago), bitcoin’s price was hovering at $330/unit. An anonymous Bitstamp trader ordered 30,000 bitcoins to be sold. Moreover, the trader, now infamously known as the “Bear Whale,” sold the coins at $300 per unit, which put extreme pressure on the nascent bitcoin market that saw roughly $29 million a day in global trade volume.
A Look at the October 2014 Bitcoin ‘Bear Whale Incident’
While bitcoin (BTC) is trading for just below the $20K region, approximately eight years ago today, bitcoin traders faced off with the notorious “Bear Whale.” It was October 6, 2014, when the anonymous trader decided to sell 30,000 BTC in a single trade for $300 per coin.
The trader wanted to make $9 million and the bitcoins today are worth approximately $603 million. The event was a huge success and caught the attention mainstream media. The price of bitcoin just before Bear Whale’s infamous dump was around $330 and the trader’s $300 monstrous sell wall was eaten up by market traders that day.
Bear Whale, a five-year-old, allegedly wrote to Reddit, claiming it was his account that sold bitcoins. Additionally, he claimed he bought the bitcoins at $8 per unit. Also, he said that he posted the 30,000 BTC trade in a hurry that day as he was trying to flee his desktop.
“I could have gotten a better price if I spent more time working the order I guess,” Bear Whale said to the r/bitcoin Reddit community at the time. “I put up the wall because I didn’t want to just sit in front of the computer all day,” Bear Whale added.
The anonymous Bitstamp trader had made the sale almost instantly. Crypto community members named the seller Bear Whale and created memes about this notorious seller. Bear Whale is a tribute to London Whale (a JPMorgan Chase trader who suffered $6.2 billion in losses due to incorrect trades). Bitcoiners mythologized the incident by saying that the community “slayed” the formidable beast on October 6, 2014.
“I feel like singing that whale meat song,” one bitcoiner said after the sell wall was defeated. “haha, so the whale lost almost a million bucks by selling it all at 300 instead of piecing it out and selling around 325,” another person from r/bitcoin wrote.
The community assumed it was an absurd battle of market forces. However, Bear Whale wrote in his Reddit post saying that he lost trust in the most popular digital currency. Reportedly, Bear Whale’s reason to come out with his identity because of the scaling debate, and later he decided to go “all-in on bitcoin again,” while bitcoin (BTC) was trading at just above 1,000 nominal U.S. dollars per coin.
The lesson that can be learned from Bear Whale’s story is that it’s quite possible a large whale could lose faith in BTC again, or at the right price range may want to dump billions of dollars worth of bitcoin. Markets are much more resilient than in 2014 when they averaged $29 million daily.
Presently, BTC’s 24-hour global trade volume is around $32.63 billion at the time of writing which is 112,425% larger in size compared to 2014’s daily BTC trade volume. At the time eight years ago, the managing director of Secondmarket Brendan O’Connor told CNBC that the move was a “very ‘immaturish’ way to liquidate that amount of coin.”
O’Connor further stressed that it ruined his Sunday. “I have to tell you, it doesn’t make any sense at all from a trading standpoint. It’s the last way in the world you would actually want to liquidate a large position like that,” O’Connor told the news reporter on October 9, 2014.
Let us know your thoughts about the Bear Whale Story that occurred on this date in 2014. Comment below and let us know how you feel about the subject.
Images CreditsShutterstock. Pixabay. Wiki Commons. Christopher Edwin Steininger. Luis Buenaventura. Reddit.
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