“Innovative New Products” like Bitcoin Mini-Futures Leads to an Increase in CME Profits


Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (CME), a popular regulated futures platform used by institutions, reported an increase in its second-quarter profit spurred by innovative products like micro futures of Bitcoin and oil that attracted the retail investors along with a drop in expenses and a rise in hedging against price moves.

The overall average daily volume of the largest futures exchange operator was up 5% “as economies continued to recover during the first half of the year,” which saw trading increasing across a majority of asset classes.

On an adjusted basis, CME earned $1.64 per share, more than analysts expected. Quarterly revenue meanwhile dipped 0.26% to $1.18 billion, according to the financial report for Q2.

CME has been recently rolling out micro-futures that are a fraction of the size of regular contracts aimed at smaller, sophisticated, and active traders.

The exchange launched micro bitcoin futures in early May, which are one-tenth of a bitcoin, compared to the regular contracts, which are worth five bitcoin. Within the first six days of their launch, more than 100,000 micro-bitcoin futures were traded on CME.

Meanwhile, 450,000 micro WTI contracts were traded by 6,200 users in the first 11 trading days, and over 2,600 of them have never traded accrued products with CME in the past. It was the most successful commodity product launch in its history.

“We have built a $100 million a year business so far that didn’t exist just a couple of years ago with our micro product,” said Chief Financial Officer John William Pietrowicz about the micro contracts.

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