Data shows that cryptocurrency whales are rapidly accumulating Ethereum’s ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, as the price of the cryptocurrency steadily moves up to new highs.

According to crypto analytics firm Santiment, the percentage of Ethereum’s supply owned by crypto whales that have over 10,000 ETH  ($18.2 million) in their addresses has been steadily moving up since November 2020, and is now at a level that hadn’t been seen since the 2017 bull market.

As the Daily Hodl reports, Santiment’s data also shows that while large Ethereum holders have been accumulating as much ETH as possible over the last few weeks, it also shows that addresses with less than 10,000 ETH in them have been letting go of their holdings.

These addresses, data shows, now own the “lowest percentage” since August 2017. It’s possible some ETH holders have been moving funds to stake the cryptocurrency ahead of the launch of Ethereum 2.0.

On top of that Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, which will “burn” transaction gas fees by default and allow users to include an optional tip paid to miners, has been packaged with the London hard fork, expected to be launched in July.

The controversial proposal has seen miners campaign against it, as it would see their revenues plunge. Some mining pools have even launched campaigns against EIP 1559, but the cryptocurrency’s developers decided to move forward with it, including along with the EIP a delay to the so-called difficulty bomb. The EIP 1559 is set to reduce ETH’s circulating supply, while addressing some usability issues.

Santiment’s data has further revealed that the 10 largest Ethereum whales have also been accumulating and now hold a combined supply of 16.86 million ETH. Earlier this month, a single-day addition of 1.03 million ETH was registered.

Whales may be buying up ETH in anticipation of the hard fork and EIP 1559, as a reduced supply met with increasing demand is expected to help the price of the cryptocurrency surge. According to CryptoCompare data, ether’s price has been moving up over the last few days, bouncing from a $1,300 low.

The cryptocurrency is currently trading above $1,800 and is closing in on its all-time high above $2,000, seen last month.

Featured image via Unsplash.