What is Open Interest

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Open interest (OI) is the sum of all unsettled contracts held by traders in active positions, whether long or short, in crypto derivative markets. If a position is leveraged, the leveraged position size, rather than the principal amount, is used to calculate open interest.

OI is usually calculated daily. Each specific derivative market pair has its daily open interest. OI is often used to determine market sentiment and the strength behind price trends.

For example, Sharon, Cynthia, and Kurt are trading the same futures contract. OI increases by $10 if Sharon enters a long position of $10. Cynthia also goes long and buys $60, thereby increasing OI to $70. If Kurt decides to short and sells $30, OI increases to $100. OI will remain at $100 until the traders exit their positions, at which point OI declines.

Open interest keeps track of every open position in a particular contract rather than tracking the total volume traded, which may include netting or closing positions. Thus, open interest can provide a more accurate picture of a contract's liquidity and interest, identifying whether money flows into the contract are increasing or decreasing.

An overview of top 5 crypto derivative CEXes' open interest

For each derivative CEX, TokenInsight tracks daily open interest for markets like perpetual and futures. For example, you can go to Binance's different derivative markets to see each trading pair's detailed open interest at the tab below.

Open interest of top 5 trading-pairs in Binance futures market

Derivatives

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