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Institutional Bitcoin Open Interest Plummets, But Why?

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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.

Related Reading | 5 Advantages Bitcoin Has Over Fiat Currency – Crypto Bite

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 TradingView.com

BTC rallies to new ATH | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

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.

Related Reading | 4 Tips for New Bitcoin Investors – Crypto Bite

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 TradingView.com

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Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial intelligence (AI) was introduced in 1955 by John McCarthy

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer program to think, learn and mimic human thought. Introduced in 1955 by John McCarthy, artificial intelligence has several different fields of study. These fields include computer science, mathematics, psychology, and philosophy, among many others. AI is linked to several different use cases. The most prominent use cases include machine learning, supply chain optimization, speech recognition, self-driving cars, and manufacturing optimization.

Now we know a bit about AI, let’s review a few examples of how AI is improving decentralized networks like blockchain.

Cryptocurrency Trading

During the past few years, artificial intelligence has substantially increased its presence in the area of crypto trading. This is particularly true with high-frequency trading (HFT). Essentially, HFT is a type of algorithmic financial trading characterized by high speeds and high turnover rates. High-frequency trading is a perfect vehicle for cryptocurrency trading because the crypto universe has several different exchanges.

HFT uses artificial intelligence to analyze multiple technical indicators across various exchanges in an effort to take advantage of market opportunities. AI is still in its infancy stage in regard to crypto trading. Going forward, artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role within the crypto trading community. These are commonly known as trading bots.

Suggested Read: What Are Public, Private, and Consortium Blockchains? – Cryptobite

Blockchain Security

Unfortunately, industries that find themselves in a hyper-growth phase are more susceptible to cyberattacks and malware. Without question, blockchain technology, along with digital assets, is currently experiencing an explosive rate of growth. Consequently, the blockchain industry has endured an exponential increase in malware, phishing, fraud, and digital theft. Based on data provided by industry experts, $9 million is lost to cryptocurrency scams on a daily basis.

The key to successfully thwarting a blockchain hack is to identify the threat and understand the nature of the attack as quickly as possible. Hackers are acutely aware that they must strike quickly in order to launch a profitable attack. Unfortunately, crypto exchanges have a poor track record in preventing cyber-attacks. AI-based cybersecurity systems are designed to detect a hack in real-time and dramatically increase the likelihood of stopping the attack. AI systems are far superior to traditional cybersecurity systems because AI has the ability to detect patterns from previous attacks. This information can be used to prevent future cyber threats.

Bitcoin Mining

As you know, all crypto transactions are verified and added to the blockchain by Bitcoin miners to maintain the integrity of the network. In exchange for their work, miners are rewarded with Bitcoin. Crypto mining requires energy consumption and computing power. Over the past few years, Bitcoin miners have explored the idea of using artificial intelligence to reduce energy waste and computing power to reduce costs.

A few of the largest mining companies have created AI-based systems, allowing companies to share power and increase profitability. AI algorithms have made crypto mining faster, more profitable, and more efficient. Without question, artificial intelligence will continue to play an essential role throughout the crypto industry.

Brief Summary of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) was introduced in 1955 by John McCarthy

  • AI is the ability of a computer program to think, learn and mimic human thought.
  • AI encompasses several different fields of study.
  • AI has increased its presence in cryptocurrency trading.
  • High-frequency trading uses AI to analyze technical indicators across many exchanges.
  • AI-based cybersecurity systems are designed to detect a hack in real-time.
  • Bitcoin miners use AI to reduce energy consumption and computing power.
  • A few of the largest mining companies have created AI-based ecosystems.
  • AI algorithms have made crypto mining faster, more profitable, and more efficient.
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What Is Blockchain Consensus Algorithm?  

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What Is Blockchain Consensus Algorithm

Blockchain technology has many different moving parts. Hence, to operate smoothly, the architecture must be properly designed. An important piece of Nakamoto’s architectural design is the use of a consensus algorithm. 

Blockchain Consensus Algorithm in a Nutshell

In its simplest format, a blockchain consensus algorithm is a decision-making process. It is designed to assist in reaching a common decision by a group of people. Of course, in this particular scenario, the consensus algorithm involves blockchain-related solutions.

How Does it Work?

Let’s assume that 20 co-workers are asked to collaborate and offer a recommendation on a specific project. Each participant in the group will reach a decision that will provide the greatest individual benefit. The group must listen to each recommendation and decide which of them will provide the greatest overall benefit. The final recommendation must be accepted by all group members regardless of whether it offers the best solution for each individual.

Let’s assume that 20 co-workers are asked to collaborate and offer a recommendation on a specific project. Each participant in the group will reach a decision that will provide the greatest individual benefit. The group must listen to each recommendation and decide which of them will provide the greatest overall benefit. The final recommendation must be accepted by all group members regardless of whether it offers the best solution for each individual.

Suggested Read: Luxury Fashion Brands Are Entering The Crypto Space (cryptobite.io)

Brief Summary of Blockchain Consensus Algorithm

  • An important piece of blockchain architecture is the use of a consensus algorithm.
  • It is a decision-making process that helps a group of people to make a common decision.
  • The consensus algorithm always produces the optimum solution for the overall group.
  • A consensus algorithm helps to create fairness and equality in a decentralized ecosystem.
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What Is Lightning Network?

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what is the lightning network

The Lightning Network is a solution designed to solve the problem of transaction speed on the Bitcoin blockchain. It was introduced in a white paper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in February 2015.

Problems With Bitcoin

When Bitcoin was launched in January 2009, transaction speed was not a major concern. In fact, for the first eight years of its existence, it operated quite well. As Bitcoin entered a raging bull market in 2017, it became abundantly clear that transaction speed was becoming a major detriment to the long-term sustainability of the crypto network.

Some experts believe that Nakamoto poorly designed the process for validating transactions on the blockchain network.

As we discussed in previous sections of Blockademy, a consensus algorithm known as proof of work (PoW) is used to validate Bitcoin transactions. Unfortunately, PoW can be a slow and cumbersome process. The transaction processing capacity is limited in terms of size and frequency.

The average block creation time is 10 minutes, and the block size is limited to 1 megabyte. Therefore, the average time to process a transaction on the network is three to seven seconds.

Lightning Network Solution

Lightning Network was never intended to replace PoW. It is used to reduce the burden on the Bitcoin blockchain. The key ingredient of the Lightning Network is the fact that all transactions occur off-chain.

It operates on top of the Bitcoin blockchain known as a ‘layer 2’ protocol. By adding another layer to the blockchain, it enables users to create payment channels between any two parties. These payment channels have no expiry, allowing both parties to conduct multiple transactions.

When all activity between the two parties completes, the information is transferred to the main network. All transactions between the two parties are recorded as a single transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain for efficiency.

A large portion of the Bitcoin community has never endorsed the Lightning Network because transactions occur outside of the main blockchain. They argue that decentralization is being compromised each time a transaction is conducted off-chain.

Even though the Lightning Network has not been well received by the entire Bitcoin community, it holds a great deal of promise in terms of solving Bitcoin’s scalability problem. Therefore, the network will continue to play an important role in managing Bitcoin’s ever-increasing volume of transactions.

Brief Summary of Lightning Network

  • Lightning Network is designed to solve the problem of Bitcoin transaction speed.
  • It was introduced by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in February 2015.
  • In 2017, transaction speed became detrimental to the long-term viability of BTC.
  • Lightning Network removed some of the burden from the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • All transactions on the Lightning Network occur off-chain.
  • The transactions occur outside of the Bitcoin blockchain network.
  • The Lightning Network is known as a ‘layer 2’ protocol.
  • Many Bitcoiners believe that the Lightning Network reduces decentralization.
  • They argue that off-chain transactions compromise decentralization.
  • Overall, the Lightning Network is still very popular within the Bitcoin community.
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