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bitcoin (BTC) the price has gained 15% in the last 13 days, and during this period, traders’ bearish bets on BTC futures have been liquidated for more than $530 million against the bulls.

After rallying to $19,000 on Jan. 12, Bitcoin hit its highest price since the collapse of the FTX exchange on Nov. 1. 8. The movement was largely fueled by the United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) Expectation for Decemberwhich matched the consensus at 6.5% year-on-year – underscoring that inflationary pressure likely peaked at 9% in June.

Additionally, on Jan. 11, FTX attorney Andy Dietderich said $5 billion in cash and liquid cryptocurrencies had been recovered – fueling hopes of a partial return of client funds in the future. Addressing a US bankruptcy judge in Delaware on January 1. On Dec. 11, Dietderich said the company plans to sell $4.6 billion in non-strategic investments.

Let’s look at derivatives metrics to understand if professional traders are excited about Bitcoin’s rally to $19,000.

Margin utilization increased as Bitcoin price hit $18,300+

Margin markets provide insight into the position of professional traders, and margin is beneficial for some investors as it allows them to borrow cryptocurrency to leverage their positions.

For example, one can increase exposure by borrowing stablecoins to buy Bitcoin. On the other hand, Bitcoin borrowers can only sell the cryptocurrency as they bet on its price falling. Contrary to future contractsthe balance between long and short margin is not always equal.

OKX stablecoin/BTC margin lending ratio. Source: OKX

The chart above shows that the margin lending ratio for OKX traders rose steadily on January 1. 11, indicating that professional traders added leverage as Bitcoin rallied to $18,300.

More importantly, the 2% correction that followed on January 1st. The Dec. 12 that took Bitcoin to a low of $17,920 marked the full reversal in margins, meaning whales and market makers pared their bullish positions using margin markets.

Currently at 21, the metric favors stablecoin borrowing by a wide margin, indicating that bears are not confident about opening Bitcoin margin shorts.

Futures traders ignored the Bitcoin price pump

The long-short metric excludes externalities that might have affected margin markets only. In addition, it gathers data from on-site exchange clients’ positions, perpetual and quarterly futures contracts, thus providing better insight into the positioning of professional traders.

There are sometimes methodological discrepancies between different exchanges, so readers should monitor changes rather than absolute numbers.

Top traders of bitcoin exchanges long-short ratio. Source: Coinglass

Even though Bitcoin broke above the $18,000 resistance, professional traders kept their leveraged long positions unchanged, according to the long to short indicator.

For example, the ratio for Binance traders has remained firm at 1.08 since January 1. 9 until Jan 12. Meanwhile, Huobi’s top traders reduced their long positions as the indicator fell from 1.09 to 0.91 currently. Finally, on crypto exchange OKX, long-to-short rose slightly in favor of longs, rising from 0.95 on January 1. 9 to the current 0.97.

Traders using futures were not confident enough to add leveraged bullish positions despite rising prices.

Related: 13% of BTC supply returns to profit as Bitcoin sees ‘massive’ accumulation

Bitcoin price could retest $17,300

While the margin data shows that considerable leverage was used to push Bitcoin above $18,000, this suggests that the situation was only temporary. Most likely, these professional traders deposited more margin and consequently reduced their leverage after the event. Essentially, the metric looks very healthy as it indicates that margin markets are not overbought.

When it comes to the top trader’s long-to-short, the lack of demand for leveraged longs using futures is somewhat concerning, but at the same time it leaves room for leverage. additional purchase.

From a derivatives perspective, even if Bitcoin retests $17,300, bulls shouldn’t worry as derivatives indicators show little demand from short sellers and no excessive leverage from buyers. .