Institutional investors appear to have generally missed out on bitcoin’s rally to a new all-time high above $24,000, as while retail investors were leveraging their long positions, institutions were cutting theirs and taking profits.
According to a report published by OKEx Insight, open interest reached a new all-time high of $8.9 billion over the weekend, and OKEx led with $1.6 billion in open interest. Similarly, BTC perpetual swaps saw their market price exceed the index price as funding rates hit a new high.
Per OKEx Insight, excessive funding rates indicate rising leverage in the market, which implies retail investors trading on cryptocurrency exchanges were leveraging their long positions as BTC’s price rallied to its new all-time high.
Citing data from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which ended just before BTC moved past the $20,000, OKEx noted that open interest “consistently declined over the last three reporting periods,” which “continues to show that institutional investors were taking profits, and that they largely missed out on the latest rally.”
Asset managers’ long positions, the report adds, fell rom 544 to 492 ahead of the rally, while short positions increased from m11 to 26. Leveraged funds’ long positions similarly declined from 4,365 to 3,946 while short position declined from 9,354 to 8,702.
OKEx Insight writes that these positions dropping and short positions increasing indicates that asset managers and leveraged funds “failed to anticipate the surge in prices” and misjudged the market’s upward breakout, likely believing the $20,000 resistance would hold.
As the settlement date of quarterly futures and options is coming up, more volatility in the market is expected as a largen umber of expiring options may see the price move toward the “Max Pain” point, which is the strike price with the most open contract puts and calls.
The Max Pain price, OKEx wrote, is around $23,750, and a movement towards it would “cause financial loss for the largest number of option holders upon expiry.
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