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Surging Bitcoin futures volume highlights increasing institutional interest

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On Oct. 12 Bitcoin price (BTC) pushed above $11,700 on Binance and data shows trading at derivatives exchanges also began to spike.

According to data from Skew, CME Bitcoin futures open interest has started to recover. The term open interest refers to the total amount of long and short contracts open at a given time and it is typically used to gauge trading activity in the futures market.

CME Bitcoin futures volume. Source: Skew

The daily volume across other institution-focused platforms, including LMAX Digital and Bakkt, also remains high. This suggests that institutional volume is growing in general after BTC’s strong rally.

What’s behind the surge?

In the past two months, three multi-billion dollar conglomerates publicly announced significantly sized investments in Bitcoin.

First, MicroStrategy, a publicly-listed U.S. company on the Nasdaq, said it invested $425 million in Bitcoin. The company said it would treat BTC as its primary treasury asset, essentially as a hedge against inflation.

Then, the $81 billion payments conglomerate Square followed with a $50 million investment. Square reportedly invested 1% of its portfolio into BTC, demonstrating strength in its long-term growth.

On Oct. 13, as Cointelegraph reported, Stone Ridge, a $10 billion asset manager, purchased 10,000 BTC. The company is now the third major corporation in the U.S. to make a major Bitcoin investment in the past two months.

Following the high profile investments into Bitcoin from MicroStrategy, Square, and Stone Ridge, institutional demand for Bitcoin might be growing naturally. Researchers at Skew said:

“CME #bitcoin futures open interest is rebounding as the carry trade reopens. Watch the COT report this weekend for potentially more leveraged funds shorts.”

Bitcoin futures data from Digital Assets Data also show a noticeable uptick in volume over the past 2 weeks. 

BTC futures volume by exchange

BTC futures volume by exchange. Source: Digital Assets Data

It is possible that CME Bitcoin futures open interest has been recovering after the September monthly expiration. Every monthly CME futures contract expires on the last friday of every month. Since the futures market resets after every expiration, open interest drops with it in tandem.

But the overall increase in volume across various institutional platforms indicates that institutional demand is likely rising.

OTC deals among whales might also be increasing

Since early October, researchers at Whalemap have said OTC deals among whales have been increasing. 

Whalemap, a platform that tracks whale activity and the trades of high-net-worth investors, found that in-person deals have noticeably spiked especially before and after major announcements. They said:

“I was looking forward to seeing if more OTC deals will come through, and they did. I am leaning more and more towards the idea that you can see these OTC deals happening on-chain before the news are released.”

Atop the high institutional and whale activity, overall spot market volume has been increasing simultaneously.

Aggregated daily BTC spot volumes

Aggregated daily BTC spot volumes. Source: Skew

During an uptrend, high spot volume is critical to sustain the upward momentum as it shows genuine interest in Bitcoin from retail investors.





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Here’s Why Analysts Think Bitcoin Will Rally Towards $17,000 by EOY

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  • Bitcoin’s price has been caught within a consolidation phase around $13,000 ever since it was rejected at its recent highs of $13,200
  • This is around the price at which it has been trading throughout the past few days, with buyers and sellers being unable to take control of its near-term trend
  • Yesterday, bulls did attempt to set fresh yearly highs and kickoff a leg higher, but it resulted in a rejection
  • This shows that buyers don’t currently have enough support for another push higher
  • One analyst explained that a push towards $17,000 could be just months away, but it may first see some consolidation

Bitcoin and the aggregated crypto market are consolidating following Bitcoin’s recent rejection at its yearly highs.

The cryptocurrency has been unable to spark any sustained moves past $13,200, signaling that the selling pressure here is significant and may continue slowing its ascent.

Despite its short-term trend being somewhat unclear, there’s no questioning that Bitcoin’s macro trend is shaping up to be extremely bullish.

As such, one analyst is noting that a move to $17,000 could be just a couple of months away.

Bitcoin Consolidates Around $13,000 as Buyers and Sellers Reach an Impasse

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just over 1% at its current price of $13,000. This is around where it has been trading throughout the past few days.

Yesterday, bulls attempted to break this trend and propel it higher, but a move past $13,300 resulted in an influx of selling pressure that sent it reeling lower.

Its inability to see any sustained rally does indicate that the selling pressure it is facing above its current price level is quite significant.

Where it trends next should depend largely on whether or not it can push past the resistance laced throughout the lower-$13,000 region.

BTC Poised to See a Sharp Climb to $17,000, Claims Analyst

Despite this micro weakness, one analyst is noting that Bitcoin is positioned to see some major upside in the months ahead.

He is specifically pointing to $17,000 as a target that he expects to be reached by the end of the year.

“I think this is a likely scenario, not expecting a clear breaker above $14,000 yet. A retest of previous resistance zone to build momentum towards the next rally towards $17,000 beginning next year.”

Image Courtesy of Crypto Michael. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.

The coming few days should provide insights into whether or not the resistance Bitcoin is currently facing will be enough to spark any selloff.

Featured image from Unsplash.
Charts from TradingView.





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China’s central bank lays regulatory foundation for CBDC

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China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), published a draft law this Friday that aims to provide regulatory framework and legitimacy for a forthcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan. 

The draft law states that the yuan is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China whether in physical or digital form.

The draft law also appears to take aim at third-party efforts at yuan-backed digital currencies, stating that individuals and institutions are prohibited from making and issuing a currency designed to “replace” digital yuan circulation. This move would presumably criminalize all non-state-sanctioned yuan-backed stablecoins. 

The punitive measures against violators of this proposed law are harsh: most notably confiscating all profits, destroying all tokens, and imposing a fine of not less than five times the illegal amount created, in addition to the possibility of criminal prosecution and imprisonment.

The People’s Bank of China clarified that the draft of the new law is on the table for public consultation until November 23, 2020.

Previous reports have indicated that China hopes to start officially issuing the digital yuan before the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February 2022. Additionally, earlier this month, China conducted a major test of Shenzhen’s digital yuan payment system, where nearly 47,500 residents claimed 200 yuan ($30) each in digital currency which they then spent across 3,389 stores throughout the city.

This regulatory move is also just the latest in a worldwide trend towards CBDCs. The Bank for International Settlements had told Cointelegraph that it had worked with seven central banks to define the foundational principles necessary for any publicly available CBDCs to help central banks meet their public policy objectives.



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Bitcoin Must Consolidate Above This Key Level, Or Risk Plunging to $11,900

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  • It has been a wild past few days for Bitcoin and the aggregated cryptocurrency market
  • Bitcoin has been able to post consistent gains throughout as of late, with buyers and sellers largely reaching an impasse following its slight rejection at $13,200
  • This has created a slight consolidation phase around $13,000 that it has been caught within throughout the past two days
  • If this phase persists in the near-term, BTC must continue holding above $12,800
  • One analyst noted that a break below this level could open the gates for a move down to lows of $11,900

Bitcoin and the aggregated cryptocurrency market have seen a roller-coaster week, with Bitcoin’s previous weakness being fully erased by bulls who sent it surging to fresh yearly highs of $13,200.

This move’s intensity has sparked a sense of euphoria and hope amongst traders and investors, with may expecting further upside in the days and weeks ahead.

For this to come to fruition, bulls must continue defending against a break below $12,800.

One analyst noted that a break below this level could open the gates for BTC to see a sharp decline down towards $11,900.

Bitcoin Struggles to Gain Momentum as Selling Pressure Mounts 

On a short-term scale, Bitcoin’s momentum is faltering slightly due to some heavy selling pressure within the lower-$13,000 region.

Until it can break above this region, there’s a possibility that a retrace could be imminent in the near-term.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading flat at its current price of $12,985. This is around the price at which it has been trading for the past couple of days.

Each selloff has been aggressively absorbed by bulls, which is a positive sign.

Analyst: Here’s the Crucial Defense BTC Needs to Defend

While sharing his thoughts on Bitcoin’s present technical outlook, a popular crypto-focused analyst and trader at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange noted that $12,800 is the key support level to watch in the near-term.

He contends that a defense of this level could lead BTC towards $13,500, whereas a rejection could cause it to drop towards $11,900.

“Bitcoin: As long as $12,750-12,800 holds, I think $13,500 is next. But if it doesn’t hold as a pivot, I assume the price drops further down toward $12,200 and potentially $11,900.”

Image Courtesy of Crypto Michael. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.

How the entire market trends in the months ahead will depend on Bitcoin. This makes it vital for BTC and altcoins investors alike that the benchmark crypto maintains its newfound momentum.

Featured image from Unsplash.
Charts from TradingView.





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