Bitcoin Cash hasn't witnessed such heightened open interest levels since May 2021, when its price soared to nearly 2.5 times its current value.

As of now, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is trading at $574.84, marking a significant 9.06% increase over the past 24 hours, as traders brace themselves for the impending BCH halving event, slated for next week on April 4, according to data from NiceHash.

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Bitcoin Cash open interest surged to record highs ahead of the halving next week. Source: CoinGlass

Ahead of the halving, traders are actively securing their positions, with liquidations on March 28 totaling $190,140 in short positions and $211,870 in long positions.

On the same day, the open interest (OI) in Bitcoin Cash futures perpetual contracts surged to an all-time high of $708.75 million, marking an 18.26% increase within 24 hours and a remarkable 165% surge over the past week, according to CoinGlass data.

The last time Bitcoin Cash open interest approached this level was in May 2021, when it reached $684.12 million, coinciding with BCH's peak price of $1,399 in the past five years.

This contrasts sharply with the situation in 2020, where futures open interest was a mere $63.29 on the same date, just before the first-ever BCH halving on April 8, 2020.

Miners are responding to the upcoming halving by increasing their mining activities, with reports indicating a doubling of the Bitcoin Cash hash rate over the past week, as shared by "DavidShares" to his 17,900 followers.

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Source: David Shares

Hash rate, the metric measuring the total computational power used in mining and processing transactions on a proof-of-work blockchain, plays a crucial role in network security and efficiency.

Despite Bitcoin approaching its fourth halving on April 21 amid record highs, Bitcoin Cash lags significantly behind its all-time peak of $4,355, reached in December 2017, according to CoinMarketCap data.

The BCH halving occurs slightly earlier than Bitcoin's due to Bitcoin Cash's temporary use of a different algorithm to adjust its mining difficulty back in 2017, resulting in accelerated block creation times.