Bitcoin traders increasingly bullish, potential for surge above $30,000?

Bitcoin traders increasingly bullish, potential for surge above $30,000?

The Cryptocurrency Market: Exploring Bitcoin’s Sideways Trading and Long Exposure

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, has recently been exhibiting a “crab-like” price action, trading sideways for the past few weeks. Despite this trend, many traders in the cryptocurrency market have been favoring long positions, indicating their belief in a potential price surge. This article delves into the dynamics of Bitcoin’s price movement, the impact of low volatility, and the reasons behind traders’ long exposure.

Bitcoin’s Current Status

As of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $29,700, showing a modest 0.7% loss in the last 24 hours and a 2% loss over the previous week. The cryptocurrency’s implied volatility has been declining, while its price remains relatively stagnant. While this may seem discouraging to some, traders have been keen on capitalizing on potential future gains.

BTC’s price trends to the upside on the daily chart. Source: BTCUSDT Tradingview

Low Volatility Sets the Stage for a Potential Price Explosion

Data from a report posted by crypto analytics firm Block Scholes via Deribit indicates that traders in Bitcoin and Ethereum have been seeking long exposure to these cryptocurrencies. Notably, this behavior is aligned with a decline in delivered volatility. To further analyze this phenomenon, let’s explore the concept of funding rates in perpetual swap markets.

In the perpetual swap markets, funding rates determine the percentage paid by long positions to short positions at any given time. The funding rates have been trending upwards since September 2022, coinciding with the time when Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reached multi-year lows. Since then, Bitcoin’s price has experienced a remarkable recovery, resulting in a notable shift in the derivatives market.

BTC, ETH, and USDC perpetual swaps have been positive over the past three months. Source: Block Scholes via Deribit

The chart demonstrates that funding rates across the BTC, ETH, and USDC trading pairs have remained positive for the past three months. This suggests that traders are increasingly taking long positions and are even willing to pay for the privilege. A positive funding rate often reflects market sentiment and can serve as an indicator of an upcoming bullish run. Platforms like Deribit, where “smart money” trades, are particularly valuable sources of such insight.

Why are Traders Favoring Long Positions?

In light of falling implied volatility, Block Scholes raises a pertinent question: Why are traders willing to pay a premium for long exposure when expectations of volatility are at an all-time low? The report states, “We find it somewhat odd that traders are willing to pay such a consistently high rate for long exposure despite such low expectations of volatility.”

There are several potential explanations for this phenomenon. One possibility is that traders may be hedging their positions in the options market. Hedging can provide a level of protection against potential downside risks. Additionally, traders could be positioning themselves ahead of a significant market move. One imminent event that could trigger such a move is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s potential approval of a spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).


Bitcoin’s recent sideways trading has not deterred traders from favoring long positions. This trend is reflected in the positive funding rates observed in the perpetual swap markets. Although implied volatility is at historically low levels, traders are still willing to pay a premium for long exposure, indicating a strong belief in future price appreciation. The underlying reasons for this behavior may include hedging strategies and anticipation of significant market movements, such as the possible approval of a Bitcoin ETF by the SEC. As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, it is essential for traders and investors to closely monitor these dynamics and adapt their strategies accordingly.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies carries a level of risk, and readers should conduct their own research and seek professional guidance.