As the Bitcoin halving draws closer, the number of “whales”—entities that have accumulated 1,000 BTC or more—has grown. In fact, there are now as many Bitcoin whales as there were in late 2017.

According to the latest report published by on-chain market intelligence firm Glassnode on April 9, the number of Bitcoin whales was increasing before the mid-March market collapse, yet the trend gained even bigger momentum during and after the crash.

“This suggests that larger market players are accumulating BTC, providing an optimistic sign,” Glassnode added.

The data shows that before the last halving, there was a large increase in the number of whales and that pattern is starting to play out again.

“The last time we saw this number of whales during an accumulation phase was in early 2016. This pattern becomes interesting when we compare it with the last halving event,” the report noted.

According to the data, after the last halving, whales sold their Bitcoin over the following years as the price of Bitcoin ballooned up to $20,000.

But with prices falling back below $7,000, the Bitcoin halving has much less momentum this time around.