Bitcoin has been struggling to hold on to the $30,000 level for the better part of this week, failing more often than not. While there have been various reactions from different parts of the market such as the ETFs, perpetual traders seem to have taken this as a sign to hold off on their activities. What this has led to is a continuation of the neutral or below-neutral funding rates that have been recorded in the past couple of weeks. Bitcoin Funding Rates Unmoved For the past few months, bitcoin funding rates have been tethering around the neutral and below neutral levels. This has been the case through both market recoveries and downtrends, although there have been periods of slight deviations where funding rates have recovered into the positive but even these have been short-lived. Related Reading | Institutional Investors Seek Safe Haven In Crypto Products Amid Market Uncertainty The last time that the funding rate saw a sharp recovery had been May 12th on the Binance exchange, after which funding rates had once more returned to trending at the neutral and below neutral line. This is interesting given that open interest in perpetual had surged to new all-time highs during this time.  Funding rates fall below neutral | Source: Arcane Research The 21 bitcoin funding rate intervals on the Binance and Bybit exchanges have been dominated by below-neutral funding rates. A total of 16 funding rates have been neural while 5 have been neutral funding rates. All this while, the perps have continued to trade at a reasonable discount to the spot. Leverage Still Surging Even though bitcoin funding rates have been straggling, it has not affected the performance of open interest (OI). OI had declined significantly in the previous week but last week saw BTC denominated open interest retrace its steps and add 41,000 BTC. This brought the total denominated OI to touch new all-time highs of 290,000BTC, beating the previous May 4th high of 282,000 BTC. Just a week after open interest had dived more than 35,000 BTC. Mostly, the surge in open interest has followed the times when the funding rates have been below neutral. At times where funding rates have been neutral or above neutral, open interest has usually been down. BTC fails to hold above $30,000 | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com What this suggests is that there will likely be more volatility coming into the market. This could happen regardless of whether the price recovers or continues to decline. However, the growth in open interest usually precedes a large recovery trend such as the one recorded during the July 26th short squeeze. So more than likely, it will be a recovery in price that will follow this surge in volatility.  Related Reading | Bitcoin On-Chain Activity Throttled After LUNA Collapse Bitcoin remains the largest cryptocurrency in the space with a market cap of $552 billion. It is up 5.10% in the last 24 hours to be trading at $29,200 at the time of this writing. Featured image from CoinDesk, charts from Arcane Research and TradingView.com Follow Best Owie on Twitter for market insights, updates, and the occasional funny tweet… 
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