While open positions in bitcoin (BTC) options have risen to near record-high levels, it’s not necessarily a good thing for those hoping for the rally in the cryptocurrency to continue.

  • The total number of outstanding BTC options contracts – or open interest (OI) – increased to $2.10 billion Thursday – just shy of the all-time high of $2.11 billion in late July, per data from Skew. 
2020-08-21-11-22-47
Source: Skew
  • On its own, high open interest can indicate existing trends are likely to be sustained – suggesting BTC's recent rally from $10,650 could continue.
  • But the number of bearish puts relative to bullish calls has recovered from -10.3% to -3% in the past four days. As the graph below shows – traders are offloading much of their call options onto the market.
2020-08-21-11-27-20
Bitcoin options' positioning since 00:00 UTC
Source: Skew
  • This suggests bullish speculation is beginning to ease – a sign of investors anticipating consolidation or price drop
  • Indeed, BTC has already pulled back more than 5% from the 13-month high above $12,400 it reached on Monday. 
  • Unless buying action comes quick, downwards momentum could push prices down to $11,000, QCP noted earlier this week.

See also: Odds of Bitcoin Hitting Record High in 2020 Are (Slightly) Up, Options Data Suggests

Disclosure
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.