Nov 7, 2023

As part of CoinDesk's Trading Week 2023, sponsored by CME Group, CoinDesk Markets Team co-managing editor Omkar Godbole joins "First Mover" to discuss a chart from Tom McClellan, the editor at The McClellan Market Report, which shows total open interest in bitcoin futures has spiked.

Video transcript

What we are seeing right now is a good old bump in open interest on the CME futures. And the chart we have here is for the standard contract, which is sized at 55 BDC per contract. And it's kind of considered a proxy for institutional activity and the open interest or as they say, you know, the notional dollar value locked in the number of active contracts, it has gone up by something like 30% in just four weeks. And popular inference is that the open interest is rising. It means traders are taking bullish bets, but that's not necessarily the case because you open interest doesn't tell you anything about the positioning of traders. Yeah, that they could be taking shots, they could be taking loans or, you know, they, they, they might be taking delta neutral trades like they might be selling futures against long position in the spot market right here. What's happening, you know, is the, as we can see on the chart, the open interest every time the open interest rises by double digits within just a few weeks, we tend to get a turnaround in the Bitcoin spot price. It happened in uh I think in late 2022 it marked the bottom, the July talk that we saw early this year was also accompanied by a sharp uptick in the CME open interest. So the similar pattern is likely to play out. Now, now that we have such a sharp rise in open interest. It's kind of, you know, if you're a bullish trader, it's kind of the right time to maybe scale back your risk and anticipate healthy price pullback.

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