Over the week ending March 20, the number of open contracts for bitcoin futures (Bitcoin: BITCOIN) on the CBOE fell from 6,429 to 6,261, amid a moderate decrease in the price of the underlying asset. This is according to the report filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The net short position held by the bigger players went down from 1,716 to 1,370 contracts over the period, whereas long positions increased from 3,735 to 3,818 contracts, and short positions decreased from 5,451 to 5,188 contracts.
For the first time, the institutional investors abandoned short positions in favor of long, amounting to 220 contracts. Looking back, this group of investors was first mentioned in the CFTC report in early February, and since then their net position has always been short, ranging from 41 to 255 contracts.
As for the smaller players, their net long position over the week decreased from 1,716 to 1,370 contracts, whereas long positions were down from 2,531 to 2,323 contracts, and short positions rose from 815 to 953 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 10, 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.