Open Interest in CME Bitcoin Futures Soars To Record Highs


Open interest in Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Bitcoin Futures contracts soared to an all-time high by Friday last week, a Coindesk report revealed on June 3.

According to the report, and from data by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, interest in open positions in CME bitcoin futures rose 7% between May 27 and June 3 to 5,190 contracts.

The figure, Coindesk notes, is the largest ever for the CME contracts in terms of the number of open positions, or contracts outstanding.

The 7% increase also coincided with the end of trading in CME bitcoin markets, with settlements done on Monday, June 3. Trading activity in the BTC futures markets also saw increased volumes, which hit record highs on May 13.

May also saw CME report that the bitcoin futures average daily trading volume rose to 14,000 contracts, the highest for the year.

As per the report, the sharp increase in trading activity in futures markets signals the likelihood that institutional players have increased their participation within the crypto space.

The CME and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) listed bitcoin futures in December 2017, a time when the crypto bull market was at its peak. However, the 2018 bear market saw trading in the futures market drop as did bitcoin’s price that closed to new lows near $3,000 in November.

In October last year, the CME bitcoin futures daily average volume reportedly rose almost 41% in the third quarter. At the time, the group’s Managing Director Tim McCourt had noted that almost 21% of the increased volume was generated in the Asian markets.

Bitcoin (BTC) price shot to levels above $9,000 in May, and apart from suggestions that it increased institutional participation was a factor, others pointed to renewed interest in the crypto from Asian markets.

Growth in interest in bitcoin futures has also seen demand for ether (ETH) futures increase.

In May, an unnamed CFTC official allegedly revealed that the U.S. regulator remained open to the possibility of allowing trading in ether (ETH) futures contracts. According to the official, the only hurdle was for the product to meet all the regulatory requirements set by the CFTC.

The agency published a “Request for Input” (RFI) last December seeking feedback from the public, in what the regulator said was an attempt at a better understanding of Ethereum. One of the areas the CFTC wanted public input was on ether derivatives.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencie.

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