Bitcoin (BTC) price has gained 15% in the past 13 days, and during this timeframe, traders’ bearish bets in BTC futures were liquidated in excess of $530 million compared to bulls.

Bitcoin’s price reached $19,000 on Jan. 12, its highest level since the FTX collapse on Nov. 8. The move was largely fueled by the United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) expectation for December, which matched consensus at 6.5% year-over-year — highlighting that the inflationary pressure likely peaked at 9% in June.

Furthermore, on Jan. 11, FTX attorney Andy Dietderich said $5 billion in cash and liquid cryptocurrencies had been recovered — fueling hopes of partial return of customer funds in the future. Dietderich, speaking to a Delaware bankruptcy judge on Jan. 11, stated that the company plans sell $4.6 billion in non-strategic investments.

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

Margin use grew as Bitcoin price soared to $18,300 or higher

Margin markets give insight into the positions of professional traders. Some investors find margin beneficial because it allows them borrow cryptocurrency to leverage their positions.

One way to increase exposure is to borrow stablecoins to purchase Bitcoin. Bitcoin borrowers can’t short the cryptocurrency because they bet on the price declining. Unlike futures contracts, the balance between margin longs and shorts isn’t always matched.

OKX stablecoin/BTC margin lending ratio. Source: OKX

The above chart shows that OKX traders’ margin lending ratio firmly increased on Jan. 11, signaling that professional traders added leverage longs as Bitcoin rallied toward $18,300.

The most important thing is that the 2% correction on January 12 that brought Bitcoin to a $17920 low marked the complete margin reverse. Market makers and whales reduced their bullish positions via margin markets.

At 21 years old, the metric favors stablecoin lending by a wide margin. This suggests that bears don’t feel confident about opening Bitcoin margin gaps.

Futures traders ignored Bitcoin’s price pump

Externalities that could have only impacted margin markets are not included in the long-to-short measure. In addition, it gathers data from exchange clients’ positions on the spot, perpetual and quarterly futures contracts, thus offering better information on how professional traders are positioned.

There may be occasional methodological discrepancies among different exchanges. Readers should therefore monitor changes rather than absolute figures.

Exchanges’ top traders Bitcoin long-to-short ratio. Source: Coinglass

The long-to-short indicator shows that professional traders have not lost their leverage long positions even though Bitcoin crossed above the $18,000 threshold.

For example, Binance traders’ ratio remained stable at 1.08 between Jan. 9 and Jan. 12. Top traders at Huobi saw their leverage longs decrease as the indicator moved up from 1.09 to 0.91. Finally, OKX crypto exchange saw a slight increase in long-to short favoring longs. It moved from 0.95 Jan. 9 to 0.97 at the moment.

Despite the price rise, traders using futures contracts weren’t confident enough to add leveraged bullish position.

Related: Bitcoin sees massive accumulation and 13% of BTC supply is returning to profit

Bitcoin price could retest $17.300

The margin data does not show that Bitcoin reached $18,000 with large leverage. However, it does suggest that the situation was temporary. It is likely that professional traders increased their margin and decreased their leverage after the event. The metric is very healthy, as it indicates that margin markets have not become too overbought.

As for the top trader’s long-to-short, the absence of demand for leverage longs using futures contracts is somewhat concerning, but at the same time, it leaves room for additional purchasing power.

The bulls should not be worried about Bitcoin’s retest of $17,300 from a derivatives perspective, as the derivatives indicators show very little demand from short sellers, and no excessive leverage from buyers.

This article does NOT contain any investment advice or recommendations. Every trade and investment involves risk. Readers should do their own research before making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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