Data calculated by Finbold indicates that bitcoin futures open interest on various exchanges has grown by 133.74% between January and March 30, 2021, from $9.66 billion to $22.58 billion. In February, the value was at $10.88 billion.
The spike in bitcoin futures open interest reflects the surge in the asset’s price, initiated mainly by the entry of institutional investors into the sector.
Institutions might be considering adding more bitcoin to portfolio
The report explains what the rising bitcoin open future means in relation to institutional investors. According to the research report:
“The growth in open interest might also indicate institutions from traditional finance are considering adding more bitcoin exposure to their portfolios. As institutional investors continue hedging using futures, the demand for leverage increases.”
Elsewhere, gold futures open interest has plunged between January and March 2021 by 17.54%, from $116.30 billion to $95.90 billion. In February, the value of gold open interest futures was $107.7 billion. During this period, the price of gold has also plunged by at least 9%.
The analysis explains why gold open interest futures have plunged. According to the research report:
“The open gold futures have plunged in the first three months of 2021, correlating with the precious metal’s price fluctuations. The decreasing open interest in gold suggests that the buying power is drying up, and thus at least a corrective downswing is to be expected.”
The growth in bitcoin open futures offers validation for cryptocurrency supporters to believe the asset will eventually replace gold as the store of value. However, despite bitcoin surging, it is still miles away from surpassing gold in terms of the value of the open interest futures.
Bitcoin Price Shoots Past $60K, Ether Hits New All-Time High in Early Saturday Trading
Bitcoin’s price neared its all-time high of $61,712 early Saturday while ether (ETH, -0.26%) set a new all-time high at $2,190.
According to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin price page, the leading cryptocurrency traded above $60,000 for the first time in nearly a month after spending weeks vacillating between $52,000 and the upper $50,000s. Bitcoin pulled back marginally after peaking around $60,900, though it remains above the psychological marker as of press time.
Bitcoin last hit an all-time high in mid-March, according to CoinGecko.
Meanwhile ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, came close to $2,200, just days after breaching $2,100 for the first time.
While it’s unclear if there’s a causation, the price action comes just days before leading U.S. exchange Coinbase begins trading on Nasdaq in one of the crypto industry’s most anticipated events. A sign of the maturing market, the listing will likely give Wall Street traders their most accessible bet yet on growth in the space.
Some institutional investors have wasted little time. Friday, Daniel Loeb, CEO of $17 billion hedge fund Third Point revealed he was a hodler in response to a CoinDesk report. He’s hardly alone: institutional funds have flooded the markets and have been deemed at least partly responsible for the 2020-2021 rally.
Bitcoin bulls were further bolstered on Friday by the idea that an exchange-traded fund (ETF) with exposure to the digital asset space might be approved in 2021, after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed it was reviewing ETF giant WisdomTree’s application.
The regulator previously began reviewing VanEck’s ETF application last month, and another six companies have filed initial registration forms declaring their own efforts to launch a regulated bitcoin (BTC, -0.99%) investment vehicle.
The broader digital asset space has seen tremendous froth over the past few months, with investors and industry participants trading heavily in decentralized finance tools, non-fungible tokens and altcoins like doge, which hit a peak of $0.08 in February, eight times its value a month earlier.
Tesla Now Accept Bitcoin, Says Elon Musk
Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Inc., on Wednesday announced that customers in the United States can now purchase Tesla vehicles with Bitcoin.
The billionaire industrial designer disclosed in a series of tweets via his official handle @elonmusk.
You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021
He, however, explained that the electric vehicle manufacturing company is using only internally developed and open-source software for the transactions, saying it operates Bitcoin nodes directly.
Musk added that Bitcoin paid to the company will be kept as Bitcoin and not converted to fiat currency.
“Tesla is using only internal & open source software & operates Bitcoin nodes directly. Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.
“Pay by Bitcoin capability available outside US later this year.”
The new initiative by the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturing company will help push Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to the mainstream, especially given Elon Musk and Tesla brand reach in the United States, the world’s largest economy.
Bitcoin Price Hits New Record High, Fuels Fresh Demands for Regulation
As Bitcoin hits all-time price highs, regulation must now become a major priority for financial watchdogs, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.
The call-to-action from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the price of Bitcoin hit a new record high, surging past $61,000 on the deVere Crypto exchange on Sunday for the first time.
Mr Green says: “Whether crypto cynics like it or not, there’s no getting away from the fact that Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly important part of the global financial system.
“Bitcoins in circulation are now worth $1 trillion, with prices having rallied 890% over the last year. Most major financial institutions, including investment giants and payment companies, are now backing the world’s largest cryptocurrency, and there’s ongoing soaring interest from retail investors.”
He continues: “The move towards digital currencies is going to increase – and at pace – over the next few years. This is why financial regulators must now make regulation of the crypto sector a major priority.
“With a growing dominance, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies must be held to the same standards as the rest of the financial system with a robust, workable international framework.
“This will help reduce any potential disruption to global financial stability, protect investors, tackle illicit activity and deliver an economic boost to countries that adopt and adhere to it.”
Previously, the deVere boss, who is a long time, high-profile cryptocurrency advocate, has said that one of the best ways to address the regulatory issues is via the exchanges.
“Nearly all foreign exchange transactions go through banks or currency houses and this is what needs to happen with cryptocurrencies. When flows run through regulated exchanges, it will be much easier to tackle potential wrongdoing, such as money laundering, and make sure tax is paid,” he has noted.
“For this to happen, banks will need to open accounts for exchanges, which is why they must be regulated.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “We’re at an important point for Bitcoin, which is now worth more than many countries’ GDP.
“Financial watchdogs need to bring this asset class into the regulatory tent sooner rather than later via the exchanges.”
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