Bitcoin has found itself stuck in the $9,000s for weeks on end. Save for a few flashes of volatility, the cryptocurrency has traded within 10% of $9,000 for nearly two months now.
Historical odds say that BTC has an extremely high chance of breaking out of this consolidation, but market data shows that institutions are betting on the downside.
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Institutional Traders Are Short on Bitcoin Via CME’s Futures
According to the chart below shared by data aggregator “CryptoUnfolded,” a report published by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange last week has revealed that “institutional traders” are still net short on the exchange’s Bitcoin futures market.
Users of the exchange defined as “institutional traders” were net short 1,822 BTC as if the report’s publishing.
This comes shortly after institutional traders increased their short positions massively near the $10,500 highs earlier this month, suggesting they see downside in the coming weeks and months.
Chart of BTC price and CME futures positioning shared by news/data aggregator "CryptoUnfolded" (@CryptoUnfolded on Twitter). Charts from TradingView.com
This group of traders has historically been somewhat accurate in predicting market trends. A week before the launch of Bakkt in September last year, institutions were net short. And building up to the big crash to $3,700 this year, they built a large net short position.
It isn’t clear why institutional traders are leaning short on Bitcoin, but there is a sentiment on Wall Street that Bitcoin is trading hand-in-hand with equities.
JPMorgan analysts released a report on Bitcoin on June 11th. “Cryptocurrencies have traded more like risky assets like equities—a significant change relative to the prior couple of years,” they wrote in reference to 2020’s strong drop and rebound in BTC that mirrored that of the S&P 500.
The existence of a correlation means that if one thinks that the S&P 500 and other equity markets will move lower, they could short BTC to capture potential gains.
Some Institutional Players Are Long-Term Bullish
Many institutional players are long-term bullish on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency though, despite the expectations of a short-term correction.
Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones revealed in May that he is buying Bitcoin futures with his personal and fund money because he thinks the cryptocurrency will perform well in a world where fiat money is being debased.
$2 trillion asset manager Fidelity Investments released a survey this month outlining institutional investment in the cryptocurrency space. The firm found that a majority of the respondents, institutions in the U.S. and Europe, are interested in digital assets.
This boiled down to three core reasons: digital assets are uncorrelated, strong/innovative technology plays, and have high potential upside.
Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Holds $9k, Ethereum DeFi Gains Traction, Trump Talked BTC in 2018
Featured Image from Shutterstock Price tags: xbtusd, btcusd, btcusdt Charts from TradingView.com CME Futures: Institutions Are Still Short on Bitcoin as Price Stalls in $9ks