Bitcoin futures trading breaks all-time records in terms of volume and open interest


  • The impressive numbers recorded by future volume and open interest pushed the price up to nearly $14,000.
  • Big money traders with short positions liquidated their holdings as Bitcoin achieved an 18-month high.

June 26 was a historic day for Bitcoin futures trading as Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) saw a record volume of $1.6 billion and record open interest for Bitcoin contracts of $373 million. This caused Bitcoin to reach an 18-month high of almost $14,000, which triggered a huge amount of Bitmex short-sellers to liquidate their positions abruptly.

@skew_markets tweets:

“Market reversed shortly after xbtusd open interest breached $1bln - it's not rebuilding as quickly this time...> $500 mln liquidated in last 24h - mostly on the sell side. Longs could be more leveraged than shorts as some shorts might be used without leverage to create synthetic dollars.”

At CME, Bitcoin futures trading has been growing dramatically in recent months. CME reported on June 20th:

“CME Bitcoin futures open interest reaches a record for a fourth consecutive day, with 5,827 contracts traded on June 20 (29,135 equivalent bitcoin; ~$280M notional) and a 25% increase from last Friday.”

However, the cryptocurrency optimists and traders have been at odds as the former have taken long positions while the latter have taken short positions. According to data taken from Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), big money traders have been taking bearish positions. The Wall Street Journal reported:

“Hedge funds and other money managers held about 14% more bearish ‘short’ positions in CME bitcoin futures last week than they did bullish ‘long’ positions, according to a recent Commodity Futures Trading Commission report.”

These traders are the ones who immediately liquidate their positions when the market neared $14,000. The WSJ insists that a bearish position doesn’t mean that these big money traders are betting against Bitcoin:

“Such data don’t necessarily mean hedge funds are placing outright bets that bitcoin will drop. The short bets could also be part of hedging strategies: for instance, a fund with a portfolio of bitcoins might go short at CME as insurance against the value of bitcoin dropping.”

The WSJ also notes that traders with fewer than 25 BTC contracts hold long positions outnumbering short bets by four to one, indicating that small investors have remained bullish.

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