Bitcoin Speculators pared their bearish bets through December

February 3, 2019

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Bitcoin Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large cryptocurrency speculators trimmed their bearish net positions in the Bitcoin futures markets in late December, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

This latest COT data is from late in December due to the government shutdown which halted the releases. The CFTC will be releasing data on Tuesdays and Fridays going forward until the data is back up to date.

The non-commercial futures contracts of Bitcoin futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of -1,142 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 24th. This was a weekly change of 200 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -1,342 net contracts.

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The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) tumbling by -292 contracts to a weekly total of 1,808 contracts compared to the gross bearish position (shorts) which saw a decrease by -492 contracts for the week to a total of 2,950 contracts.

The net speculative position closed out the year with specs decreasing their bearish bets for four out of the last five weeks.

Bitcoin Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -219 contracts on the week. This was a weekly change of 20 contracts from the total net of -239 contracts reported the previous week.

The commercials were just added to the data mix on November 27th (chart above) and have started off with a small short position.

Small Traders Positions:

The small traders, meanwhile, cut back on their existing bullish bets by -220 contracts through December 24th to a total of 1,361 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 1,581 net contracts.

The small trader position has continued to maintain a bullish standing in Bitcoin futures since the contract was introduced in December of 2017.

Bitcoin Futures:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from the previous Tuesday to Tuesday December 24th, the Bitcoin Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $4070 which was a gain of $575 from the previous close of $3495, according to unofficial market data.

*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) were positioned in the futures markets. The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators). Find CFTC criteria here: (

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