Leveraged Funds are Record Short on CME Bitcoin Futures

However, this might be bullish instead of bearish for BTC.


Bitcoin continues to break new records every day lately.

Yesterday, BTC/USD broke the $29,000 level as well and the market is expecting to enter into 2021 above $30k and end 2020 with more than 300% returns.

Amidst this extreme bullishness, leveraged funds on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are record short.

COT - CME BTC Futures Net OI

Source: Skew

However, this might be rather bullish for Bitcoin’s price than bearish as the same picture was seen on Dec. 1st.

As data provider Skew noted, they are likely to be record long on Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, trying to collect the premium. GBTC is currently holding 607.07K BTC, 3.2% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply, which is trading at a 23.5% premium to BTC price.

Grayscale, however, hasn’t bought any BTC since Dec. 25th, as per Bybt.

These leveraged funds might also be taking advantage of the CME futures basis, the average is currently over 10%. The difference between the spot price of Bitcoin, $28,268 as of writing, and CME Bitcoin futures price, which is $29,135, is an arbitrage opportunity for these funds.

On Monday, the regulated exchange had to temporarily pause the trading of bitcoin futures after one of the biggest gaps was formed, of more than $3k, between the derivatives and the underlying asset.

CME has actually become the largest Bitcoin futures venue by the number of open contracts amidst the growing institutional interest. Open interest on CME stands at $1.60 billion, the highest among the major derivatives exchanges, as per Skew.

Now, CME accounts for more than 18% of the total OI which stands at over $9 billion.

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