LUNA, Terra’s native coin, has almost doubled its value with new all-time highs past $90 during December sessions. That came as the alt extended its 4-month winning trend and decoupled from the sluggish moves by the overall market.

Such remarkable surges usually lead to conditions characterized by excess bullish leverage and risky directional bets. It often occurs at market tops. Nevertheless, Terra’s marketplace does not have such signals, with derivatives stat showing investor caution.

Levitas, a Swiss-based cryptocurrency derivative tracking site, told CoinDesk that individuals seem to short Terra perpetual futures, reflecting on negative funding and increasing open interest. Dollar’s Open interest in perpetuals futures increased two-fold since 15 December, hitting $394 million. True enough, the metric doesn’t reveal whether the market favors bullish or bearish. However, combining it with funding rates shows traders’ activities.

In Terra’s scenario, funding rates negative since 15 December. That shows that short position investors have dominated and pay long traders.

Perpetuals are futures that do not have expiry. Exchange utilizes a funding rate approach to price perpetual near the underlying asset’s price.

Delphi Digital states that negative funding rates in top exchanges highlight delta-neutral traders’ presence. These individuals take many positions to neutralize direction bias or delta exposure. Delphi Digital commented on the price surge over the past few days. He stated they came as investors purchased spot LUNA, taking advantage of the Astroport backdrop. After that, they can use perpetual futures to hedge their positions, remaining delta neutral.

Astroport is a new DEX launched on 14 December. Users that lock liquidity in this protocol will receive ASTRO tokens.

The notion of earning free money through backdrop has attracted market players to Astroport, reducing LUNA coin supply from the marketplace. DeFi Llama data indicates that the DEX has drawn over $1B into Terra’s ecosystem. More than half of the figure comprises LUNA tokens.

In October, Terraform declared an implementation to destroy 90 million coins in the community pool.

While publishing content, LUNA trades in the green at $87.47, ranking 9th in the coinmarketcap cryptocurrency list.