This time, with bitcoin having reached $57,000, there seems to be no sign of FOMO (fear of missing out) buying in the retail sector, at least as far as futures and volume indicators go.
While refinancing rates have stabilized at neutral levels, spot volumes have stagnated, suggesting that the recent surge in open interest in futures is healthy.
Open interest in BTC US dollar futures contracts. Source: Bybt
As noted above, the cumulative open interest of BTC futures contracts reached a new all-time high of $20.3 billion. This event is generally seen as bullish, although long and short positions always coincide. However, a yellow flag should be raised when a rise in this ratio is followed by a high refinancing rate in perpetual futures.
Refinancing rate is neutral to n
Perpetual futures are the tool of choice for leveraged retail traders due to their liquidity and transparent expiry management.
To ensure balanced risk exposure, derivatives exchanges charge a fee every eight hours for long (long) or short (short) positions in perpetual futures contracts. This indicator, also known as the refinancing rate, becomes positive when more debt is required for longer maturities.
Long positions with insufficient margin are usually liquidated as their positions are forcibly closed. Over-leveraging is therefore a major catalyst for a significant price correction.
BTC perpetual futures 8-hour funding rate. Source: Bybt
As noted above, the 8-hour tax rate reached 0.20%, or 19.7% per month, at the end of February. This bet is quite expensive for those who bet on perpetual futures, but the effect disappeared when the price of bitcoin fell on the 22nd. February dropped below $48,000.
On the other hand, the current refinancing rate of 0.05% over 8 hours is standard and expected in healthy markets. This equates to 4.6% of the monthly fee and should not be a problem for leveraged debt.
Cash foreign exchange volume not increased
If FOMO retail had started when bitcoin was approaching its record high of $58,300, it would have had a positive impact on cash trading volume.
Volume of cash trade. Source: Coinalyze.net
As noted above, the latest 5-day volume of $8 billion is virtually unchanged from recent weeks. So there is no sign of retail investors desperately buying BTC cash or perpetual futures.
This data points to the possibility of further price increases on the bitcoin side, as institutional customers continue to move into BTC in droves, despite a 70% year-on-year growth rate.
While many analysts speculate that this activity will lead to quick purchases by retail investors, there is currently no definitive evidence of this.
Digital Currency Group’s decision to buy $250 million worth of shares in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is likely to bring some relief, as will JPMorgan’s upcoming launch of a basket of cryptocurrencies.
These developments could be interpreted by retailers as a seal of approval from one of the largest banks in the world.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph. Every investment and every stage of trading involves risk. You should do your own research before making a decision.
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