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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

1 hour ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

2 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.