Bitcoin price flirts with $40K, but derivatives data is still bullish

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin (BTC) price is facing an intense period of volatility as the price moved from a $52,950 top on Sep. 7 to a $42,800 low just two hours later. More recently, the $45,000 support was held for a couple of days despite being heavily tested, and this triggered a $3,400 up-and-down swing on Sep. 13.

There’s little doubt that shorts – traders betting on a price decrease – took the upper hand since the liquidation of the $3.54 billion worth of long (buyers) futures contracts on Sep. 7.

Microstrategy’s Sep. 13 announcement that it added over 5,050 Bitcoin at an average price of $48,099 was not enough to re-establish confidence, and the cryptocurrency’s price remained unchanged near $44,200.

While the impact of shorts may be being felt, it’s more likely that regulatory concerns continue to suppress markets because the United States Treasury Department has reportedly discussed potential regulation for private stablecoins, as reported by Reuters on Sep. 10.

The growing interest from regulators came as the stablecoin market capitalization grew from $37 billion in January to its current $125 billion. Furthermore, both Visa and Mastercard reiterated their interest in stablecoin-related solutions.

Regardless of the reason behind the current price weakness, derivatives contracts have been displaying bullish sentiment since Aug 7.

Professional traders have been bullish for the past 5 weeks

Bitcoin quarterly futures are the preferred instruments of whales and arbitrage desks because their most significant advantage is the lack of a fluctuating funding rate. However, these might seem complicated for retail traders due to their settlement date and the price difference from spot markets.

When traders opt for perpetual contracts (inverse swaps), derivatives exchanges charge a fee every 8-hours depending on which side demands more leverage. Meanwhile, fixed-date expiry contracts typically trade at a premium from regular spot market exchanges to compensate for the delayed settlement.

Bitcoin 3-month futures annualized premium. Source: laevitas.ch

Check out how the current $14.8 billion figure is 23% above June and July’s $12 billion average. This contradicts speculations that traders have been severely impacted and are hesitant to create positions due to Bitcoin’s volatility or somehow fearing an impending bearish event.

A 5% to 15% annualized premium is expected in healthy markets because the money locked in these contracts could otherwise be used on lending opportunities. This situation is known as contango and happens on almost every derivatives instrument.

However, this indicator fades or turns negative during bearish markets, causing a red flag known as “backwardation.”

The above chart shows the premium (basis rate) rising above 8% on Aug. 7 and sustaining this moderate bullishness ever since. Thus, data is exceptionally healthy and depicts hardly any lack of conviction even with Bitcoin testing the sub-$44,000 level twice in the past 15 days.

Related: Regulatory and privacy concerns trail SEC’s threat to Coinbase

Futures open interest remains healthy

The $3.54 billion in liquidations across derivatives markets on Sep. 7 definitely hurt overleveraged traders, but the open interest on Bitcoin futures is still healthy in the grand scheme of things.

Bitcoin futures aggregate open interest in USD. Source: Bybt.com

Check out how the current $14.8 billion figure is 23% above June and July’s $12 billion average. This contradicts speculations that traders have been severely impacted and are hesitant to create positions due to Bitcoin’s volatility or somehow fearing an impending bearish event.

There should be no doubt, at least according to futures markets, that investors are neutral-to-bullish despite the recent price correction. Of course, traders should monitor important resistance levels, but so far, $44,000 has held firm.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Hedera Hashgraph rallies 150% in a week as its ecosystem expands
There’s a Bitcoin boom among Baby Boomers reports BTC Markets
Paydek Expands Footprint to Latin America and Africa Through RippleNet
EU regulator sees crypto as sign of increased risk-taking in current climate
Alt winds of change? What an altcoin season would mean for crypto