Bitcoin continued to trade in a tight range on Thursday and is roughly flat over the past 24 hours. Some analysts are concerned that rising leverage in the bitcoin futures market could precede a near-term price drop, while others expect the current trading range to result in further upside.

CryptoQuant analysts pointed to the slower pace of whales, or large bitcoin buyers, buying as a cautious market signal. Meanwhile, technical indicators suggest bitcoin’s price decline could stabilize at around $53,000, although upside appears to be limited beyond $60,000-$65,000.

With the end of year approaching, some analysts told CoinDesk that most investors will probably exit their long positions to lock in gains, which could make a sustained price rise to $100,000 BTC unlikely.

Open interest, or the total number of outstanding contracts, in the bitcoin futures market continues to rise despite the recent crypto sell-off.

“It is not common to see such a high open interest being sustained for such a long duration. This could suggest that the market is currently oversaturated with leverage,” Arcane Research wrote in a report earlier this week.

High leverage means bitcoin futures traders holding long positions could be vulnerable to liquidations (broad-based selling) if the BTC price continues to drift lower.

Source: CoinDesk