Tezos Whales: Who Are They?
There are major token holders in every cryptocurrency network, and Tezos is no exception.
Those major holders are commonly referred to as whales. Their influence on the cryptocurrency of their choice is enormous, so the whale addresses are never out of the general public’s sight. So, without further ado, let’s get to know them a little closer.
Primary distribution of tez
There is a certain amount of tez minted with each new block (at the time of writing, it is 40 tez). Those tez are distributed amongst bakers. Still, the genesis block was an exception to the rule: it distributed the XTZ purchased during the Tezos crowdsale back in 2017.
According to the campaign’s outcome, there were 763 306 929.69 tez minted with 20% of them locked in vesting contracts. The primary supply of tez was distributed among 30,317 wallets. The Gini coefficient was relatively high at 0.878.
Even today, 5% of the primary supply has never been redeemed. Those “sleeper” addresses include 24 accounts with a balance between 100k tez and 600k tez, as well as two with the balances of 2,5m tez and 6m tez. One can only guess why their owners have never attempted to receive them.
We do not know who owns those “sleeper” addresses, pretty much like we don’t know other whales who had participated in the crowdsale. What we do know is that 3,156,502.85 tez were distributed among early investors and contractors, so it’s safe to assume that some of them still have major amounts of tez.
Regardless of the primary distribution, however, the current distribution template shows that it is centralized exchanges that act as tez whales today.
Current distribution of tez
Ten largest Tezos accounts belong to centralized exchanges, namely Kraken, Binance, Upbit, and Coinbase. They mostly delegate their users’ tez to their own bakers (Kraken Baker, Binance Baker, Coinbase Baker), while some coins are simply stored in local wallets (Kraken 4, Binance, Coinbase).
Public bakers are also Tezos whales because they have to own big amounts of tez in order to deposit bonds. Still, their assets are modest compared to those of centralized exchanges. Only 6 of 100 biggest Tezos accounts belong to public bakers: Flipping Tacos (46th place), Everstake (48th place), PosDog (59th place), Stake.fish (63rd place), PayTezos (91st place) и P2P Validator (97th place).
Earlier we talked about the risks inherent in staking via centralized exchanges and the difference between public bakers. Now it’s time for some good whale news: we know of two major Tezos whales interested in the networks long-term success more than anyone. They came about in the early days of Tezos during the primary distribution of XTZ: Tezos Foundation and Dynamic Ledger Solutions (DLS), the company founded by Arthur and Kathleen Breitman.
Tezos Foundation and DLS
Tezos Foundation and DLT received 76,330,692.97 XTZ each during the primary distribution of tez. Those funds are subject to vesting scheduled to end in May 2022. Still, DLS’s vesting term was extended. In late April 2021, Tezos Foundation announced that the tez held for DLT shareholders will be transferred to their accounts within weeks to be vested for four years.
As for Tezos Foundation itself, it holds its tez in 16 addresses, namely 8 Foundation Baker ones and 8 Foundation Delegator ones with respective numbers such as Foundation Baker 4 and Foundation Delegator 4.
It is unknown as yet how exactly the DLS-attributed tez will be transferred, but it seems the process has already commenced as ten new private bakers with similar history appeared on the Tezos network on April 27. Nine out of ten have similar balances of 1m tez, while every account was delegated the amount of 619,098.07 tez from KT addresses market as Vested Funds. So, it was 20% of the primary supply blocked in vesting contracts.
The tenth baker is different. Its balance is 2m tez, and there were eleven, not ten, addresses that had delegated funds to it. Similar to the remaining nine bakers, ten addresses linked to Vested Funds had sent 619,098.07. But it is the eleventh address that makes it interesting. And what is interesting is not even the delegated amount of 1,819,156.86 tez but the originating address itself: tz1c4GjeL8bzRJQgj9tNzzaCRzB8APGMGdyy.
If you are subscribed to Tezos Notifier Bot you regularly get alerts about whale transactions. So, you might have noticed that there had been more of them than usual on May 7. More precisely, aside from regular centralized-exchange stuff, there were four transactions of 999,996,001 tez each from the mysterious address above.
The address has been in existence for two years, but we noticed it because of almost daily whale transactions therefrom occurring between April 30 and May 12 this year. Frankly, we have no idea who’s behind it, but maybe you do?
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