Over the week ending February 6, the number of open contracts for bitcoin futures on the CBOE rose from 5,738 to 6,932, according to the report filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The net short position held by the bigger players decreased from 2,139 to 2,040 contracts over the period, whereas long positions increased from 2,730 to 3,635 contracts, and short positions were up from 4,842 to 5,675 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.
As for the smaller players, their net long position over the same week also decreased from 2,139 to 2,040 contracts. Long positions increased from 2,950 to 3,144 contracts, while short positions were down from 811 to 1104 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.