Over the week ending January 16, the number of open contracts for bitcoin futures on the CBOE rose from 4,624 to 4,736, according to the report filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The net short position of the bigger players increased by 17% in a week, from 1,907 to 2,226 contracts (long positions decreased from 1,764 to 1,553 contracts over the period, while short positions are up from 3,671 до 3,779 contracts).
By bigger players, we mean brokers, funds with external financing, and others who are obliged to submit regular reports to the commission.
The net long position of the smaller players increased from 1,907 to 2,226 contracts (long positions are up from 2,551 to 3,004 contracts over the week, short positions are up from 644 to 778 contracts).
The figures above do not take into account the positions that are part of spread trading strategies, where traders open both short and long positions simultaneously.
The CBOE began trading bitcoin futures on December 12, followed by the CME Group on December 18. However, the CME Group data are still not reflected in the weekly CFTC report.
The trading volume of one contract is one bitcoin on CBOE and 5 bitcoins on CME, which makes CBOE more suitable for smaller traders..
When assessing the difference in short and long positions of large and small players, it should be borne in mind that a short position in the bitcoin futures market does not necessarily mean that the trader is waiting for the price to drop. This position can be part of a more complex trading strategy, for example, if the trader assumes that other cryptocurrencies will be more profitable than bitcoin.