In brief

  • Bitcoin perpetual futures open interest is at a “historically elevated level,” according to Glassnode.
  • The underlying signs are showing the market could be ready for a “leverage flush.”

As Bitcoin has been busy limboing below the $45,000 mark, crypto derivatives are seeing a lot of “interest” as traders speculate on BTC’s future price.

Below the big figures, however, there’s a battle brewing between Bitcoin bulls and bears, says Glassnode in its weekly report. And, according to the data analytics firm, it’s not clear which direction the price is headed in the next few months—despite the markets being primed for a “leverage flush.”

With Bitcoin having lost more than one-third of its value since hitting a record high in November, holders who bought near the peak of the market are now faced with unrealized losses. According to Glassnode, 5.7 million BTC, or 30% of the coins in circulation, are underwater, meaning they’re worth less than what their owner paid for them. 

That’s an important level historically and psychologically, says Glassnode; since May 2020, every time the percentage of Bitcoin supply “in profit” has dipped close to or below the 70% barrier, it’s been able to pull back. 

Bitcoin supply in profit as of January 2022
Percentage of Bitcoin supply in profit. Source: Glassnode

“The reaction from this level will likely provide insight into the medium term direction of the Bitcoin market,” writes Glassnode. “Further weakness may motivate these underwater sellers to finally capitulate, whereas a strong bullish impulse may offer much needed psychological relief, and put more coins back into an…

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