Open Interest in Bitcoin Perpetual Futures Hits New Yearly Record on Deribit Exchange 

The Deribit exchange has recorded a new yearly high for Bitcoin perpetual futures open interest, a record not seen since BTC’s ATH.

The amount of open interest in Bitcoin perpetual futures on the Deribit derivatives exchange has hit a new high of $740 million. This impressive level was last seen in November 2021 when Bitcoin hit its $68,000 all-time high. As of this writing, open interest in Bitcoin perpetual futures has fallen to $717 million.

A rise in open interest in Bitcoin perpetual futures suggests an increase in funds entering the Bitcoin market. It also serves as an indicator of increased participation, potential liquidity, and likely institutional interest.

Interest in Bitcoin Perpetual Futures Signals Institutional Attention

Speaking to The Block, Justin d’Anethan, the Head of Business Development for APAC at digital asset market maker Keyrock, said the current figures for Bitcoin futures contracts on the CME also point to a rise in institutional engagement. According to d’Anethan, it also points to “large sophisticated players wanting BTC exposure.” He added that this might also be because the market is anticipating a decision on spot Bitcoin ETF by January.

In October, the CME’s notional open interest in Bitcoin hit $3.54 billion, making it the second-largest Bitcoin futures exchange. A few weeks before, the CME was in fourth position. Last month, CME beat Binance and became the exchange with the largest amount in Bitcoin futures open interest. The CME previously overtook Binance about two years ago by nearly $2 million. This happened when the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF launched.

As d’Anethan suggested, interest in Bitcoin futures may come from an anticipated approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in January. Currently, the market is already very optimistic about the chance of an ETF, with several observers stating that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission SEC may be unable to reject applications anymore. The SEC has denied applications for spot Bitcoin ETF since 2013 when the Gemini exchange submitted the first proposal. According to the Commission, the proposals have not adequately addressed market manipulation and fraud concerns.

ETF Decision Expected in January

However, current proposals seem to be addressing the SEC’s concerns, especially with the introduction of a surveillance-sharing agreement (SSA). The SSA promotes transparency and reduces the risk of manipulation by openly sharing data among multiple parties. In addition to introducing SSAs, applicants have submitted multiple updates to the SEC, likely fine-tuning their proposals to address the SEC’s worries. There have also been multiple discussions with the applicants on specifics about the ETFs.

The SEC recently revealed details of meetings it had with Grayscale and seven other applicants, including Fidelity, Bitwise, Invesco, and VanEck. On the 29th of November, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein, other employees, and personnel from Davis Polk law firm met with members of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets. The meeting was mainly about a possible rule change that will allow NYSE Arca to trade shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) along with the conversion of the GBTC to a spot ETF.

Another reason for renewed interest in Bitcoin is the upcoming halving event expected next April. The event cuts block rewards for miners in half and has a positive effect on Bitcoin as it reduces the amount of assets entering circulation.

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