Speculators raised net short bitcoin positions in Dec 26 week: CFTC

FILE PHOTO: A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture
FILE PHOTO: A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

January 2, 2018

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Speculators raised net short position on bitcoin futures traded on Cboe Global Markets last week amid a selloff sparked by experts’ warnings of a bubble, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released late Friday.

Net short bitcoin contracts rose to 1,801 in the week that began Dec. 26, from 1,507 short contracts the previous week.

During the last two weeks of December, bitcoin in the spot market slumped nearly 28 percent, but still ended the year up about 1,300 percent.

On Tuesday, bitcoin recovered from recent losses to trade up 3.4 percent at 13,900 <BTC=BTSP> on the Bitstamp platform.

Trading in bitcoin has tended to be volatile. In November, it tumbled almost 30 percent in four days from $7,888 to $5,555. In September, it fell 40 percent from $4,979 to $2,972.

ARK Invest, a New York-based asset manager which oversees exchange-traded funds focused on technology, said in a newsletter that investors had displayed “irrational behavior” with respect to bitcoin, including speculators going on margin to invest in the digital currency.

“Historically, these signs have marked the top, either cyclically or securely, for an asset class,” said ARK Invest.

Still, it said the launch of a futures market for bitcoin by CBOE and CME Group Inc <CME.O> last month potentially heralded another era of financial innovation.

It said that if blockchin technology, an open ledger that has underpinned bitcoin, is as fundamental a breakthrough as the internet was when it was first launched, then institutions will start investing significantly alongside retail investors over the next six to nine months.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

  • kaiju

    Bitcon is the new Dotcon.

  • DCBlueBlood

    I’m in GBTC a Bitcoin Investment Trust Fund that trades on the Open Markets.

    1 Share is $2,261.50 basically 1/7th of a Bitcoin.

    It’s been volatile the last 2 weeks but its been on FIre. If the Futures are true it’s Going Through $20,000 in January

    Bitcoin Trading Range $13810 – $14840 today alone.

  • HarryObrian

    Articles like this have been far and few during the last two years of bitcoin’s exponential increase in value, so why now? Me thinks this may be fake news attempting to get more investors into the currency as others are quietly leaving the currency.

  • landy fincannon

    One of the greatest scams ever perpetrated on we the people. Was the Federal Reserve Act.

    Now , bitcoin is pulling of the fiat currency hoax.