Friday’s expiration of Bitcoin futures (BTC) was mediocre in terms of both price and volume impact. Open interest fell to $157 million, barely moving from its $5 billion mark.
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As CoinTelegraph correctly predicted on Thursday, this expiration of Bitcoin futures from CME was irrelevant. Some August contracts valued at $125 million were settled on Friday, although preliminary data indicates that less than $40 million were not renewed for the next few months.
The graph above shows the total change in open interest during the last 24 hours, although the data includes reverse (perpetual) swaps and the remaining months of the calendar.
However, this is surprisingly opposite to the maturity seen in the month of July when USD 500 million in futures contracts were settled.
The size of the maturity depends on recent price activity
The main reason behind traders‘ indifference to Friday’s expiration seems to be the impossibility of establishing support levels above USD 11,200 during the last few weeks.
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As CoinTelegraph mentioned earlier this week, „current macroeconomic factors point to a positive medium- to long-term price cycle, but suggest that in the short term, momentum will fade and a consolidation phase will occur.
The markets behaved completely differently during the last weeks of the expiration of each futures contract, therefore, we saw a different result in the amount settled. At the end of July there was a 26% bullish run, while the last two weeks have been flat.
Open interest is more important than the small number of maturities
Some traders may be disappointed by Bitcoin’s recent loss of momentum, but this doesn’t mean that professional investors have abandoned the futures markets. The absence of volume or the stability of open futures interest means that the bets have been made.
Investors should only be concerned when there’s a decline in open interest, as this is a sign that more experienced traders have reduced their exposure. This is something that would be really worrying during price consolidation phases.
Bitcoin futures aggregate open interest
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Such a bearish scenario is not the case, as the total open interest among all exchanges more than doubled during 2020. The current mark of USD 4.9 billion is only USD 800 million slightly below the historical high reached on August 17.