Over the week ending April 17, the number of open contracts for bitcoin futures on the CBOE decreased from 6,614 to 6,433, according to the report filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The net short position held by the bigger players went up from 2,145 to 2,226 contracts over the period, as both long and short positions decreased, from 3,344 to 3,066 contracts and from 5,489 to 5,292 contracts, respectively. The net long position held by the institutional investors was down from 424 to 343 contracts.
As for the smaller players, their net long position over the week increased from 1,721 to 1,88, contracts, whereas long positions were up from 2,676 to 2,719 contracts, and short positions declined from 955 to 836 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.
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.
According to Dmitry Koptyakov, the head of the Exante trade department, the current upward trend is mainly fueled by small players. Smart money are increasingly betting on a trend change. The divergence between net short positions of large players and net long positions of smaller participants also often indicates a change in the short-term trend. Most often, but not always, smart money wins.