A JP Morgan research note has recently revealed the firm believes institutional investors are starting to leave the cryptocurrency ecosystem over its prolonged bear market, which has now lasted for over a year.
According to Bloomberg, analysts including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou found that open interest for bitcoin futures contracts on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has been dropping.
The research note reads:
Participation by financial institutions in Bitcoin trading appears to be fading. Key flow metrics have downshifted dramatically.
The prolonged bear market has taken its toll on the cryptocurrency space. Bloomberg’ report points out that, according to BitInfoCharts, bitcoin’s median transaction size has dropped from over $5,000 a year ago, to about $200.
The flagship cryptocurrency’s price has also decreased significantly. From a near $20,000 all-time high late last year, BTC is now trading at little over $3,800, after rising 7% in the last 24 hours.
The sell-off, the researchers added, affected altcoins as well, as most other cryptocurrencies saw their prices plummet along with that of bitcoin. Ethereum’s ether – then the second-largest crypto by market cap – dropped to about $100 from a $1,400 high, while XRP dropped from $3.3 to $0.37.
Other Analysts Take a Bullish Approach
While JPMorgan’s research note appears to take a bearish approach, other analysts have a different take on what’s going on. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Mike McGlone pointed out he considers there has been an increase in interest. This, as the number of contracts from CBOE and CME is set to end the year at an all-time high.
Pointing to bitcoin’s relative-strength index (RSI), which showed the cryptocurrency as oversold, McGlone added:
Sharp rallies should [be] expected as the market is extremely over-sold by most metrics … [from] record shorts and extreme discounts to most moving averages.
The analysts added, however, that this month the cryptocurrency ecosystem is facing selling pressure from investors looking to address their tax obligations, as well as those trying to get out of the market after this year’s drop.