The growing popularity of cryptocurrency segments is mainly due to two groups of people. On the one hand, there are the whales, whereas the other group consists of retail investors. Both groups have very particular exchange preferences, which are worth keeping an eye on. 

Cryptocurrency Whales Prefer Interesting Exchanges

It is often best to use over-the-counter trading or OTC desks for those who like dealing with large transactions. Opting for this method ensures no price impact occurs for the market they are trading, as these orders are not part of order books. Instead, it is a good way for whales to either buy or sell large amounts of crypto assets at a comfortable price. 

As numerous exchanges and trading platforms provide OTC trading, it is somewhat curious to see some whales prefer using centralized exchanges. Per CryptoQuant, the whales mainly reside on BitMEX, Gemini, Bitstamp, and Bitfinex. No real surprises here, as those are some of the most influential crypto trading platforms in the world today. 


This list doesn’t mean that whales are not using other trading platforms. It is never possible to accurately predict how these groups of users behave regarding crypto assets. What is rather intriguing is how the use of BitMEX has skyrocketed since late 2020, whereas other platforms, including Bitfinex and Gemini, note a steady decrease. 

Source: CryptoQuant

This decrease appears to coincide with Bitcoin’s recent bull run and subsequent correction afterward. Higher prices and a dip seem to attract less attention from whales on these platforms, which is unusual. As whales specialize in large volumes, one would expect more interest during those opportune times. So far, that is not the case, which doesn’t bode well for those desiring a market recovery.

Retail Investors Look Elsewhere

Although there will be some overlap between retail investors and whales across all trading platforms, there are some intriguing differences. Binance, Huobi Global, Kraken, and ByBit are the most popular platforms for retail investors. The first three platforms will not surprise anyone, but ByBit is a rather curious addition to this list.

Moreover, this shows that Kraken – while providing OTC trading to cater to whales and big investors-  seems to be behind some of its competitors at this time. Similar to the other exchanges above; however, all of these platforms note a decrease in user activity over the past few months. Only OKEx is moving up the rankings a bit, as is Huobi, but less spectacularly. 

These metrics confirm there may not be an immediate market recovery for cryptocurrencies. Instead, it is likely there will be more sideways and bearish momentum to contend with. A bleak outlook despite the strong performance earlier this year, yet there isn’t much one can do about these things. Trading with caution remains advised for all users.