Institutional Bitcoin Open Interest Plummets, But Why?

Picture of a bitcoin in front of a market chart

Institutional investors had FOMO’d into bitcoin with the release of the first Bitcoin ETF. This enthusiasm quickly died down the week following the approval as trade volumes plummeted. The record opening was quickly replaced by lackluster momentum that saw institutional investors pull out of the market, likely owing to the asset touching a new all-time high and traders taking gains.

institutional Bitcoin open interest had skyrocketed with the price, signaling the entrance of big money into the market. The run-up had lasted until the very end of October. Open Interest saw its peak on October 29th. But since then, institutional bitcoin open interest has been on the decline, thanks to dying interest in the bitcoin ETFs. Now the market looks towards Spot Bitcoin ETFs as open interest dies down.

institutional Bitcoin Open Interest Declines

institutional bitcoin open interest had grown a whopping 185% in October alone. The approval of the ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF had been the major push behind it. Traders had massively betted on the success of the ETF and their bets had paid off as the ETF saw more than $1 billion in trading volume in the first two days alone. Open Interest had climbed in this period.

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Open Interest has however declined in November. Although bitcoin has done well at the beginning of the month, institutional interest has not followed this trend. Instead, the CME has seen declining volumes for the month of November.

Chart showing bitcoin open interest decline

Bitcoin Open Interest declines on CME | Source: Arcane Research

Open Interest on the CME had hit $5.9 billion but quickly declined down to $4.8 billion. Subtracting the contribution of the ProShares ETF to this volume, the number drops significantly to $3.4 billion.

Open Contracts Drop On CME

Open contracts on CME have also recorded a decline in recent times. The number of open contracts on the CME has dropped significantly from its peak on October 25th. However, this decline has not been replicated across other markets.

Bitcoin price chart from

BTC rallies to new ATH | Source: BTCUSD on

BITO has seen a surge in open contracts. While open contracts on the CME have declined by 32% since October, the number of open contracts in BITO has hit a record high. Presently, there are 4,139 open contracts, representing a new all-time high.

Subtracting the BITO open contracts from the CME open contracts sees a 45% decline in open contracts since October. This suggests that institutional investors are reducing their activities in the market and are not as involved with open contracts.

Binance Open Interest On The Rise

Bitcoin Open Interest in Binance has been growing lately, a direct opposite of what has been witnessed with open interest on CME. Open Interest on the crypto exchange hit a new all-time high in November. Open Interest had peaked on Binance in April at $5.2 billion. Now, open interest has grown on the platform from to new high of $6.7 billion.

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The clamor for more exposure to BTC on the part of institutional investors has now died down. It is apparent now that trades made in the Bitcoin Futures ETF were mostly short-term and now those traders have pulled out of the market after taking profits.

Featured image from CNBC, chart from

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