Institutional investor Bitcoin sentiment turned pessimistic on Friday as short Bitcoin inflows hit an all-time high, according to a new report from CoinShares.
Short Bitcoin funds give investors exposure to derivatives, like futures and options, that bet against the price of Bitcoin. While investors can enter into those contracts directly, the CoinShares report tracks the flow of funds for exchange-traded products.
By the end of last week, short Bitcoin investment products hit an all-time high of $172 million assets under management, according to the report. CoinShares has been tracking Bitcoin short funds since the first one launched, 21Shares Short Bitcoin on the Six Swiss Exchange, in January 2020.
Bitcoin funds now have $16 billion assets under management. That’s the lowest it’s been since the end of June, wrote James Butterfill, CoinShares director of research, writing that last week’s trends show a continued “tepid investor appetite for digital assets.”
There’s still been some bullish Bitcoin behavior among institutions, though. MicroStrategy bought 301 Bitcoin, worth approximately $6 million when it was announced last week. But MicroStrategy shareholders weren’t as enthusiastic about the news as executive chairman Michael Saylor.
MicroStrategy has purchased an additional 301 bitcoins for ~$6.0 million at an average price of ~$19,851 per #bitcoin. As of 9/19/22 @MicroStrategy holds ~130,000 bitcoins acquired for ~$3.98 billion at an average price of ~$30,639 per bitcoin.https://t.co/5kYW98ij4I
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) September 20, 2022
The MSTR share price dropped 6% on the day of the announcement. On Monday, MSTR was trading at $198.98, close to trading at more than $200 and making up the ground it lost on the Bitcoin news from last week.
There was a little bit of good news for Ethereum-based funds, which saw net inflows totaling $7 million. That’s the first positive sentiment since the Ethereum merge. The weeks before and of the merge, which took place on September 15, Ethereum funds saw outflows of $62 million and $15 million, respectively.
Both Ethereum and Bitcoin have struggled during the past week, with Bitcoin still below the $20,000 mark on Monday and trading at $19,082.92, according to CoinGecko. Ethereum was trading at $1,318.57 on Monday afternoon, still well below the $1,600 price it last hit before the merge.
One of the big factors impacting the Ethereum price has been miners selling their ETH. Data from OKLink, which analyzes data from a dozen mining pools, showed that miners sold $20 million worth of ETH in the week leading up to the merge.