Bitcoin price shakes off $157M BTC futures expiry — Is $12,000 next?

Today’s Bitcoin (BTC) futures expiry was lackluster both in terms of price impact and volume. Open interest dropped by a mere $157 million, barely moving from its $5 billion mark.

As CoinTelegraph correctly predicted yesterday, this most recent CME Bitcoin futures expiry was irrelevant. Some $125 million worth of August contracts were set to liquidate today, although preliminary data indicates less than $40 million were not rolled over for the upcoming months.

Total open interest, USD million

Total open interest, USD million. Source: Bybt.com & CoinTelegraph

The chart above shows the total open interest change over the past 24-hours, although the data includes inverse swaps (perpetual) and the remaining calendar months.

Nevertheless, this is strikingly opposite from the July expiry when $500 million worth of futures contracts were liquidated.

Expiry size depends on recent price activity

The main reason behind such traders’ indifference to today’s expiry seems to be the failure to establish support levels above $11,200 over the past few weeks.

As CoinTelegraph mentioned earlier this week, the current “macro factors hint at a positive medium-term to long-term price cycle but suggest that in the near term, momentum will fade and a consolidation phase will happen.”

Bitcoin intraday price chart, USD

Bitcoin intraday price chart, USD. Source: TradingView

The markets behaved completely differently over the last weeks of each futures contract expiry, hence a different outcome on the amount that was liquidated. Late July presented a 26% bull run, whereas the past two weeks have been flat.

Open interest is more important than small-sized expiries

Some traders may be disappointed by Bitcoin’s recent loss of momentum but this does not mean that professional investors exited the futures markets. The absence of volume, or the stability of futures open interest means bets have already been placed.

Investors should only worry when there is diminishing open interest as this is an indication that savvy traders have reduced their…

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