A whale is defined as a trader or group of traders who own large amounts of Digital Assets. Because of the sheer size of the orders whales tend to place, they are more likely to have significant effects on the price of an asset.
The APEX:E3 system defines a whale order as one that is greater than or equal to the equivalent of 20,000USD, and displays the market it appears in on the premium analytics page as soon as it enters the orderbook.
Besides bringing liquidity to a market, a whale can effectively influence other traders to alter the position of their limit orders.
For example, if a whale places a large bid at $7200, those with bids below this price will see their orders as less likely to be executed. This may cause some to replace their bids with new ones, greater than $7200, pushing the price up.
Because whales will often use their size to manipulate markets in this way, it is very useful for a trader to know where they are as soon as they enter an orderbook, so that they can assume a long or short position before the price has moved up or down, respectively.
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Credit: Stuart Moore