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What’s Behind the Increasing Number of Bitcoin Longs on Bitfinex?

3 mins
Updated by Max Moeller
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The number of long orders on the Bitfinex exchange has been making all-time highs for the past five days. This is unusual since the Bitcoin price has decreased by around 10% over these days.
The possibility of this occurrence preceding a long squeeze has likely been invalidated, since the rapid price decrease of December 17 did not cause the number of longs to go down. Therefore, this could be a whale or a number of whales who are stacking Bitcoin at lower prices in anticipation of a significant price pump. Cryptocurrency Twitter personality @themooncarl, who is also the owner of a Bitcoin-related Youtube channel, expressed disbelief at the Bitfinex long chart, which has been consistently increasing since November 24. This is an odd matter since the price has been decreasing significantly while long orders are doing the opposite. Initially, this sparked fears of a long-squeeze, an action in which the price decrease causes speculators to close their longs. This usually leads to an even more pronounced decline in the price of the asset. However, traders do not have an obligation to sell, though they usually do out of fear. In the current case, the initiators of these longs are holding and even adding to their positions at lower BTC prices. Therefore, the possibility of a short squeeze looks minimal. So, the next logical option is that a whale or a number of whales are consolidating orders in order to buy Bitcoin at cheaper prices before pumping the price upward. Due to the very rapid and strong decrease, this is a risky proposition, as stated by another trader @filbfilb, who expressed similar disbelief and confusion at this event. At 14:00 (UTC+1), December 18, the Bitcoin price initiated a minor upward move with decent volume, increasing by 4.5% in slightly more than an hour. In case this was the beginning of the said pump, then the tactic could have been successful. However, this increase pales in comparison to the previous price decrease that has been ongoing. Bitfinex Pump At the time of writing, the number of longs was at 47,030. Since Bitfinex has a daily trading volume of roughly $27M, it has significant sway on the crypto market, being the fifth-largest exchange in the world as sorted by trading volume. Therefore, the increase in long orders could very well be a sign of a major market movement. Bitfinex Longs

Bitcoin Long/Short Ratio

Another interesting development is the ratio of longs to shorts. It first made an all-time high of 4.7 in July and followed that up with 5.2 in November. This means that for every 5.2 long orders in the book, there is one short order. On December 14, the long/short ratio reached an absolute high of 7.64. The decrease on December 17 and 18 has caused the number of shorts to increase, so the ratio is now at 4.33. We suggested this decrease will occur as a result of the high long/short ratio in our previous article. Bitcoin However, the current decrease in the ratio is not a result of long orders being liquidated, but a result of short orders increasing. As the price goes down, it is expected that those short orders will close as traders have already realized profits. Additionally, if the hypothetical price pump occurs, it would likely liquidate a number of shorts, causing the long/short ratio to increase.
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Valdrin Tahiri
Valdrin discovered cryptocurrencies while he was getting his MSc in Financial Markets from the Barcelona School of Economics. Shortly after graduating, he began writing for several different cryptocurrency related websites as a freelancer before eventually taking on the role of BeInCrypto's Senior Analyst. (I do not have a discord and will not contact you first there. Beware of scammers)