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

In photos: Virginians line up for hours on first day of early voting

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

In some parts of Virginia, people waited in line up to four hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, according to the Washington Post.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic seems to already have an impact on how people cast their votes this election season. As many as 80 million Americans are expected to vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told Axios in August.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 30,306,469 — Total deaths: 948,147— Total recoveries: 20,626,515Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 6,705,114 — Total deaths: 198,197 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.

Court battles shift mail-in voting deadlines in battleground states

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Michigan joins Pennsylvania in extending mail-in ballot deadlines by several days after the election, due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected delays in U.S. Postal Service.

The latest: Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that all ballots postmarked before Nov. 2 must be counted, so long as they arrive in the mail before election results are certified. Michigan will certify its general election results on Nov. 23.