Bitcoin bets appear bearish as futures trading reaches a new high

The number of outstanding contracts is referred to as open interest.

The number of outstanding bitcoin futures and perpetual contracts has reached an all-time high, and traders are paying up to bet on further price declines - in an already bearish market.

The Bitcoin (BTC) futures market is now larger than ever, and investors appear to be increasing their bets on further price declines.

The largest cryptocurrency has reached a new record high of 565,579 BTC ($10.6 billion), surpassing the previous peak of 548,096 BTC reached in February 2020.

The data includes positions on traditional commodity exchanges like CME as well as cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Bybit.

Since mid-August, Bitcoin short-term futures on major exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Binance have been trading at a discount to the spot price, indicating bearish flows.

Outflows from exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based in the United States that invest in CME-listed bitcoin futures appear to have pushed the CME basis into the negative.

While an increase in open interest indicates an influx of funds into the market, it does not reveal much about market positioning.

Measures the price differential between futures and spot markets, and funding rates, which shows the cost of maintaining bullish or bearish positions.

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