Bitcoin’s dive under $27K liquidates $100M — So why aren’t margin traders flipping bearish?
Bitcoin’s price (BTC) broke below its 55-day support at $27,000 on May 12. In result, the two-day, 7% correction to $26,155 caused $100 million worth of long BTC futures contracts to be liquidated.
However, Bitcoin margin and futures markets displayed strength during the down-move, fueling hope of a recovery toward $28,000.
Regulatory pressure, stronger U.S. dollar bite
Regulatory uncertainty in the United States significantly increased after Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital received yet another subpoena. The publicly traded mining company informed investors on May 10 that it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concerning whether it may have violated federal securities laws, among other things, by using related-party transactions.
Furthermore, there’s the additional risk of the 627,522 Bitcoins held by the Grayscale GBTC Trust Fund, which has been trading at a steep discount for over a year while Grayscale’s holding company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), struggles with some failing subsidiaries. DCG’s crypto lending and trading firm, Genesis Capital, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.
Despite having separate corporate structures, Genesis Capital had “intercompany obligations” with the holding company DCG, so the consequences for the administration of the Grayscale funds are unknown. Additionally, the group reportedly owes Gemini’s clients about $900 million, and the U.S. SEC charged Genesis and Gemini in January.
Bitcoin’s 7.2% correction happened as the dollar strength index (DXY), which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of foreign exchanges, displayed strength. The indicator reached 101 on May 8, nearing its 12-month low, a sign of low-confidence in the government’s ability to curb inflation while simultaneously managing to increase the debt limit.
Historically, there has been an inverse correlation between the DXY index and risk-on assets such as Bitcoin, given that a weaker dollar tends to drive demand for alternative store-of-values and scarce assets.
Let’s look at derivatives metrics to better understand how professional traders are positioned in the current market environment.
Bitcoin margin market traders slightly less optimistic
Margin markets provide insight into how professional traders are positioned because they allow investors to borrow cryptocurrency to leverage their positions.
OKX, for instance, provides a margin lending indicator based on the stablecoin/BTC ratio. Traders can increase their exposure by borrowing stablecoins to buy Bitcoin. On the other hand, Bitcoin borrowers can only bet on the decline of the cryptocurrency’s price.
The above chart shows that OKX traders’ margin lending ratio decreased between May 8 and May 11. Still, that is not concerning, given that those traders remain favoring bullish strategies as the stablecoin (long) demand currently surpasses the BTC (short) demand by a factor of 18 times — which is healthy.
Related: Texas votes to add crypto to state’s Bill of Rights
No signs of panic selling after Bitcoin price crash
To exclude externalities that might have solely impacted the margin markets, traders should analyze the long-to-short metric. The metric gathers data from exchange clients’ positions on spot, perpetual, and quarterly futures contracts, thus offering better information on how pro traders are positioned.
There are occasional methodological discrepancies between different exchanges, so readers should monitor changes instead of absolute figures.
Even though Bitcoin broke below the $28,000 support, professional traders have increased their leveraged long positions using futures, according to the long-to-short indicator.
At crypto exchange OKX, the long-to-short ratio increased, from 0.92 on May 8 to 1.01 on May 12. Meanwhile, at Binance, the long-to-short ratio stabilized at 1.13, indicating there was no shift to a bearish position from whales and market makers.
Therefore, despite the 12% price decline from a high of $29,865 on May 6, traders using margin and futures contracts did not abandon their bullish stance. The movement indicates confidence that Bitcoin is more likely to reclaim $28,000 than succumb to the next support level near $24,500.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.