Institutional Bitcoin Exposure Soared in May, CME Sees Largest Spike Ever of 59% in Trading Volume


Bitcoin started June above $9,400 and has been slowly making its way upwards to yet again an important $10k level. During this uptrend, bitcoin printed a “Bart Simpson” pattern after surging to $10,400 only to fall shortly after to $9,150.

Currently, bitcoin is trading at $9,700 with 1.37% gains with “real” volume down at $1.7 billion.

Spot volume has been slowly sliding down after seeing a spike to $64.7 bln on May 10th. This spike however, still did not match the volume registered on April 30th at $66.2 bln and the record $75.9 bln on March 13th.

Among the Top Tier exchanges, Binance and OKEx remained the top players in terms of volume in May, as per the CryptoCompare report.

BTC/USDT still represents the majority of BTC traded into stablecoins at ~98% however, BTC trading into USDT decreased 7% in May to nearly $15 million BTC. Meanwhile trading into USD and JPY increased 12% and 28% respectively along with EUR (17%), and KRW (21%).

The highlight of the market was actually the derivatives volume that increased 32% in May to an all-time high at $602 bln. Derivatives represented 21% of the market in May compared to 17% in April as spot volumes only increased 5% to $1.2 tn.

All derivatives platforms saw large increases in volume but institutional player CME Group had the largest spike of 59% to $7.2 bln in its total trading volume, a monthly increase greater than any other regulated or unregulated derivatives exchange.

CME futures volumes increased by 36% (number of contracts) to reach 166,000 in May.

This was also the month when billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones announced that he is buying bitcoin through CME and has almost 2% of his assets in the digital currency which he called an inflation hedge.

In 2020, institutional investors are taking a special interest in BTC which went through the supply shock in May in the macro backdrop of the central bank money printing triggered by the coronarius pandemic.

As we have been seeing since halving, Grayscale has also been consuming more BTC than being generated during this period.

After a lull in April, options also saw an impressive increase, with CME options volumes reaching an all-time monthly high of 5986 contracts traded in May.

A leader in the bitcoin options market, Deribit experienced record options volume, trading $3.06 bln, up 109% from April.

BitMEX meanwhile, continued to lose its market share while Huobi, OKEx, and Binance emerged at the top.

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