Over the week ending February 13, the number of open contracts for bitcoin futures on the CBOE showed its first decrease since the start of trading, sliding from 6932 to 5704 contracts, says the report filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The drop followed a major decline in the price of the underlying asset on February, 6, when BTC fell to $6000 for the first time since November 2017.
The net short position held by the bigger players decreased from 2040 to 1875 contracts over the period, whereas long positions fell from 3,635 to 2,765 contracts, and short positions were down from 5,675 до 4,640 contracts. For the first time the CFTC report includes data on institutional investors’ holdings on CBOE, amounting to 119 short positions.
As for the smaller players, their net long position over the same week decreased from 2,040 to 1,875 contracts. Long positions decreased from 3,144 to 2,769 contracts, while short positions were down from 1104 to 894 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.