Bitcoin futures open interest soars to new heights ahead of Coinbase listing

Open interest in bitcoin futures jumped up in the run-up to Coinbase’s direct listing on Nasdaq on the 14th. April to new records.

Crypto-currency market data aggregator Glassode says bitcoin’s open interest has surpassed $27 billion for the first time, while bitcoin has reached new highs above $63,000. This milestone suggests that traders can speculate on rising prices, although some may also hedge against future volatility.

#Bitcoin futures open interest on major markets reaches record high of over $27 billion as Bitcoin reaches new high.

Chart: https://t.co/GqgQ98W7Mq pic.twitter.com/KYBQC9WZxC

– glassnode (@glassnode) April 13, 2021

Binance has the lion’s share of trading activity, with $5.2 billion, nearly 20% of all open positions on the exchange. It is followed by Bybit with $4.66 billion, OKEX with $3.75 billion, then Huobi, FTX and CME with about $3 billion each.

Despite record open interest, bitcoin futures volume appears to have fallen over the past month, from $117 billion on March 15. to $50-75 billion in April, according to crypto-currency derivatives data aggregator Skew.

As Coinbase’s listing date approaches, traders may be more cautious about opening new positions, as a significant portion of the open interest is likely to be positions opened in recent weeks and months.

Of the $75 billion in BTC futures that changed hands over the past 24 hours, Binance accounted for more than a third with $26.9 billion, followed by Huobi with $14.5 billion, OKEx with $12.7 billion and Bybit with $10.6 billion.

In contrast, open interest in bitcoin options fell after contracts worth a record $6 billion expired at the end of March. Options volume increased in April and data indicates that many traders are hedging their positions now that billions were raised to protect against last week’s $40,000 plunge.

Bitcoin is not the only market in which derivatives traders speculate. Open interest in Ethereum futures has also reached a record high of over $8 billion in recent weeks.

Ethereum options markets also saw an increase in activity, with open interest reaching a 30-day high of about $3.2 billion. Ether options volume jumped 90% overnight, from $200 million to $380 million.

However, many Ethereum traders seem to be looking beyond Coinbase’s listing this week, with analyst Cantering Clark noting a significant price target of over $3,200 by the end of June earlier this month.

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