Over the week ending January 30, the number of open contracts for bitcoin futures on the CBOE rose from 5,193 to 5,738, according to the report filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The net short position held by the bigger players increased from 1,746 to 2,139 contracts over the period, whereas long positions increased from 2,440 to 2,730 contracts, and short positions are up from 4,185 to 4,842 contracts.
By the bigger players we here mean the participants obliged to submit regular reports to the commission, including brokers, externally financed investment funds, and others.
Over the same week, the net long position of the smaller players went up from 1,746 to 2,139 contracts; their long positions increased from 2,665 to 2,950 contracts, while short positions are down from 919 to 811 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
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’s forecast for the price of the underlying asset is negative.