The number of large Bitcoin holders, dubbed “whales,” has hit a new all-time high as data shows that while those with smaller holdings have started selling at different price points, BTC whales kept on accumulating.

On-chain market analysis firm Glassnode has revealed on Twitter that the number of bitcoin whales, defined as entities that hold at least 1,000 BTC ($17.2 million at press time) in their wallets, has hit a new all-time high after more than four years.

Glassnode’s data shows there are less than 2,000 Bitcoin whales, even though the figure is now at an all-time high after surpassing its previous high in June 2016, which occurred ahead of the bull run in late 2017. Before the 2016 high, the number of entities with over 1,000 BTC on their addresses kept on steadily rising.

The number of bitcoin whales going up this year could be related to the cryptocurrency’s significant price drop in March, during the so-called Crypt Black Thursday, in which BTC’s price plunged by about 50% to little over $3,000, a figure that hadn’t been seen since December 2018.

Growing adoption and PayPal’s new service that lets users buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies on its platform could also have contributed to the rise in BTC whales. PayPal’s service is for now only available to users in the U.S. and supports BTC, BCH, LTC, and ETH but represents growing demand.

According to a website tracking bitcoin’s use in corporations’ treasuries, 15 publicly traded firms now have exposure to BTC,  and some have seen their investments appreciate significantly since they bought the cryptocurrency.

Data from on-chain analytics firm Santiment shows that while smaller holders have been selling their bitcoin during the recent bull run at various price points, whales are still accumulating.

The whale population isn’t the only one growing in the bitcoin ecosystem, data shows, as Glassnode also pointed out in a separate tweet that the number of BTC addresses that hold at least 10 BTC, worth $173,000 at press time, has reached a four-month high of 154,720.

Featured image via Pixabay.