The volume and amount of open contracts in Bitcoin futures are steadily declining, but this may help to catalyze the next upswing
The future volume of Bitcoin ( BTC ) and open contracts are decreasing rapidly. Data shows that since September’s peak, BTC’s future volume has dropped 60%, from over $25 billion to about $10 billion.
Bitcoin Future Volume per Exchange (September)
While the decline in business activity may seem like a negative metric, it may also indicate that a bullish cycle is emerging.
Why the decline in futures market activity could drive the price of Bitcoin
The Bitcoin futures market represents the majority of the superb trades in the Bitcoin market and popular platforms like Binance, BitMEX and ByBit allow leverage of up to 125x.
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When traders are highly leveraged, they are vulnerable to settlement. For example, if a 10x long contract placed at $10,000 is liquidated at $9,000, it forces the buyer to sell the position in the market.
Assuming there are a large number of traders in similar positions, this increases selling pressure and can catalyze a large settlement in the Bitcoin price.
If the futures market opens interest and increases volume, this will put Bitcoin in a vulnerable position and increase the likelihood of cascading settlements, such as those seen during the infamous Black Thursday, when more than $1 billion in futures contracts were settled while the Bitcoin price plummeted to less than $3,600.
The drop in future volume can be perceived as a potentially high event, as normally a small price move can turn into a large price swing if mass settlements are triggered at a certain price level.
As such, the declining volume and amount of open futures contracts could prepare the ground for a stable and prolonged recovery.
Open interest and Bitcoin volume during high and low markets
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During bullish markets, there are often several peaks of open contracts, but the market remains neutral for a prolonged period, allowing the spot volume to grow. As shown in the chart below, while the volume of the futures market fell, the spot volume increased slightly.
Spot Exchange Volumes
Exchange volumes in sight.
Although not shown on the chart, LMAX Digital, a Bitcoin cash handbag tailored for institutions, has recently overtaken Coinbase to become the largest cash handbag. Kyle Davies, co-founder of Three Arrows Capital, explained :
„BTC is not a niche industry: 1) BTC has strong correlation with stocks and commodities, but you only trade crypto 2) LMAX is the largest BTC USD spot exchange, but you don’t have an account there 3) Entrants traded in $ billion that you’ve never heard of. ”
Considering the increase in institutional demand, the increase in cash volume and the reduction in the number of open futures contracts, the continuous trend can be considered upward.
What traders expect in the short term
In the short term, traders expect continued consolidation under the $11,000 resistance and this may extend the downward trend in volume in the future.
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Edward Morra, a cryptomaniac broker, said that liquidity shows that Bitcoin is likely to face more parallel trading. He said :
„My current perspective, either the local top is on the rise or another peak to prevent stops. A lot of liquidity left below price. ”