Bitcoin ($BTC) whales have kept on accumulating tokens “aggressively” throughout the bear market as prices plunge, according to on-chain data showing large addresses are adding to their holdings.

The ongoing crypto bear market saw the price of BTC plunge from around $69,000 back in November 2021 to around $19,000 at the time of writing amid risk-off sentiment in the markets driven by inflation fears, interest rate hikes, and the war in Ukraine.

In the cryptocurrency space, the sell-off this year was exacerbated by embattled cryptocurrency firms who both have been laying off staff and freezing withdrawals from their platforms citing “extreme market conditions.” Crypto lender Celsius Network has reportedly been advised to file for bankruptcy, while rival lender babel Finance and crypto exchange CoinFLEX froze withdrawals.

Whales holding more than 1,00 BTC have, however, kept accumulating coins at a discount relative to last year, with IntoTheBlock analyst Juan Pellicer saying that in the last “multi-year long bear market Bitcoin whales took advantage to accumulate at a high pace,” according to Decrypt.

The analyst added that while whales’ balances keep on growing they don’t seem to be growing “with the same intensity of the last bear cycle.” ~Blockchain analytics firm Glassnode has also noted on social media that whales with over 1,000 BTC “typically go through accumulation/distribution cycles, often aligned with Bitcoin market structure.”

Per the firm, these entities are “adding to their balance aggressively” as they are acquiring 140,000 BTC per month from cryptocurrency exchanges.

Despite the ongoing bear market,  CryptoCompare Research’s “Digital Asset Management Review“, has shown that the 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP (SBTC), which “seeks to provide a -1x return on the performance of Bitcoin for a single day” had a 30-day return of 30.8%, making it the third consecutive month where the product’s assets under management have risen, recording a new $16.5 million all-time high this month.

21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP’s assets under management rose during a month in which the assets under management of cryptocurrency investment products reached record lows, with CryptoCompare detailing ETFs experienced the largest drop in AUM at 52% to $1.31 billion.

Trust products, which have an 80.3% market share, fell 35.8% to $17.3 billion, while ETCs and ETNs fell 36.7% and 30.6% to $1.34 billion and $1.61 billion respectively. The report also mentions the $500 million outflows from Bitcoin’s biggest ETF that led to a price crash earlier this month.

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