Over the week ending February 20, the bitcoin futures traded on the CBOE experienced a slight drop in the number of open contracts, to 6,032 from 6,050, according to the report filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The net short position held by the bigger players increased from 1,608 to 1,833 contracts over the period, as both long and short positions were down from 3,630 to 3,389 contracts and from 5,238 to 5,222 contracts. The net short position held by the institutional investors decreased from 255 to 104 contracts.
As for the smaller players, their net long position over the same week increased from 1,608 to 1,833 contracts, whereas long positions were up from 2,412 to 2,574 contracts, while short positions decreased from 804 to 741 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.
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.