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What Is Long/Short Ratio and What Does It Convey in Cryptocurrency Futures?


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Main Takeaways

  • The Long/Short Ratio is a sentiment analysis indicator that relates to market participants' opinions and actions.

  • It is calculated by dividing the number of long positions by the number of short positions.

  • A high ratio suggests bullish market sentiment, while a low ratio suggests bearish market sentiment.

Traders in the cryptocurrency futures market use a variety of indicators to analyze market trends. Sentiment analysis is one of the metrics traders employ to gauge the overall market sentiment.

Sentiment analysis is a technique used to assess the overall sentiment or mood of the market participants toward a particular asset. The markets are driven by the collective actions of market participants, and sentiment analysis measures this collective mood or sentiment to try and determine market trends.

The Long/Short Ratio is a sentiment analysis indicator that relates to market participants' opinions and actions. In this article, we will explain the Long/Short Ratio, how it is analyzed, and how traders can use it to assess market trends.

Long and Short Positions Explained

Before delving into the meaning of the Long/Short Ratio, let's take a look at what is meant by long and short positions in futures trading.

Long and short positions represent the two sides of a futures market. Traders open these positions based on the direction they expect the market to go. When a trader takes a long position, they expect the price to increase from a given point. On the other hand, when a trader takes a short position, they anticipate the price to decline from a given point.

Going long in futures trading is similar to buying an asset. Conversely, going short is similar to selling an asset. However, futures traders buy and sell futures contracts and not the actual underlying assets. With cryptocurrency futures, traders can take long or short positions to gain exposure to digital assets without actually owning them.

Usually, in a bullish market, there is a greater number of long positions as traders expect the prices to rise. While during a bearish market, short positions often surpass long positions.

What Is the Long/Short Ratio?

The Long/Short Ratio is a sentiment analysis indicator used to assess the relative strength of bullish or bearish trends in the market.

The Long/Short Ratio calculation shows the number of long positions compared to short positions for a specific market. By analyzing the Long/Short Ratio, traders can gain a better understanding of market sentiment towards a particular cryptocurrency asset.

If the Long/Short Ratio is high, indicating that there are more long positions than short positions, this may suggest a bullish sentiment in the market. If the Long/Short Ratio is low, indicating that there are more short positions than long positions, this may suggest a bearish sentiment in the market.

How Is the Long/Short Ratio Calculated?

It is calculated by dividing the number of long positions by the number of short positions. For example, if there are 80 long positions and 40 short positions, the ratio will be 2 (80/40).

Therefore, a ratio above 1 means that there are more long positions than short positions, suggesting positive market sentiment for the asset. On the other hand, a ratio below 1 suggests that short positions outnumber long positions, indicating negative expectations.

Bitcoin Long/Short Ratio Example

Binance Futures provides insights into the different indicators of perpetual contracts, including open interest, Long/Short Ratio, and taker buy/sell volume. It displays information in the form of charts for various perpetual contracts for the last 30 days. The data helps traders gain insight into market movements and sentiment, enabling them to make more informed trading decisions.

Let's look at the example below, which displays the Long/Short Ratio for the BTCUSDT perpetual contract. In this chart, we have set the period of each bar as 1 day, and it shows the data for the last 30 days.

For example, on March 21, 2023, the BTCUSDT Long/Short Ratio closed at 0.77 as 56.46% of all Binance Futures accounts with an open position in BTCUSDT were net short, while the other 43.54% were net long.


The Long/Short Ratio can be a useful tool for traders to gain insights into market sentiment. It provides a snapshot of the relative strength of bullish and bearish expectations for a particular cryptocurrency asset.

Traders can monitor the ratio over time to identify potential trends and adjust their strategies accordingly. But, it is important to note that the Long/Short Ratio should not be the sole factor in making trading decisions. It should be used alongside other fundamental and technical indicators to reduce risks and gain a more comprehensive understanding of market conditions.

Further Reading

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