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Cboe Global Markets. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The latest report from the CFTC shows net shorts on bitcoin Cboe futures rose to 1,343 contracts, from 1,244 the previous week, after the cryptocurrency's recent surge.

Driving the news: Bitcoin jumped 20% to its highest level since November last week, moving briefly above the $5,000 mark. A Reuters report credited the surge largely to "an order worth about $100 million spread across U.S.-based exchanges Coinbase and Kraken and Luxembourg’s Bitstamp."

  • The cryptocurrency has bounced back after being left for dead by most investors. In February, traders raised long bets on bitcoin to the highest level in 11 months, and prices crossed above the 100-day moving average for the first time in more than 4 months.

What they're saying: Bitcoin bull Yves Lamoureux, president and chief behavioral strategist of research firm Lamoureux & Co., believes bitcoin is primed for a spike.

  • "6,000 is the first target coming up as funds try to cover for their life," he tells Axios via email. "Time compression is where things now happen faster. 40,000 to 50,000 is the target by 2021."

Short sellers will certainly have more trouble betting against bitcoin going forward. Cboe Global Markets said last month it plans to phase out bitcoin futures contracts. However, CME Group, which has seen higher trading volumes than Cboe, told CoinDesk it has "no changes" to announce about bitcoin futures contracts.

Bonus: Also in last week's CFTC data: "Long positioning in the dollar jumped this week to a 3-year high as Euro shorts rose to the highest since Dec 2016."

Go deeper

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken proposed in a letter to President Ashraf Ghani steps including a UN-facilitated summit to revive stalled peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, Afghanistan's TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: Blinken expresses concern in the letter, also obtained by Western news outlets, of a potential "spring offensive by the Taliban" and that the "security situation will worsen and the Taliban could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conservation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

Updated 4 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.