Record Bitcoin Futures on CME Paints a Bullish Institutional Investment Picture


  • Exciting time for bitcoin futures, as well as for cryptocurrency assets
  • Institutional adoption to grow further

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Bitcoin futures had a blast in 2019 summer as trading volume reached an all-time high (ATH) in May and June. However, last month saw it declining modestly.

In May, June, and July, CME traded notional volume of more than $8 billion each month, which was by far the largest volume since the derivatives, options and futures exchange first launched Bitcoin futures contracts at the peak of the previous bull run, in December 2017.

Early in the summer, CME registered sustained trading volume but moving into August, the volume tapered. Last month, the numbers declined, however, it wasn't low by many standards.

The trading volume registered on CME in August was equivalent to just under that seen in April at over $5 billion.

September is looking to follow August as the highest BTC futures contracts traded on CME was 7,658 and the lowest being 3,701.

Exciting Time for Bitcoin Futures, as well as for Cryptocurrency Assets

Recently, Tim McCourt, CME managing director told Forbes that so far this year Bitcoin futures are averaging over 7,000 contracts per day on the platform.

May has been the most successful month with “13,600 contracts each day, equal to ~$515 million in notional value or 68K equivalent bitcoins.” Specifically on May 13, $1.3 billion of notional value was traded on CME.

“This is an exciting time for bitcoin futures, as well as for cryptocurrency assets in general,”

McCourt said.

There is a lot of broad investor interest in cryptocurrency.

Institutional Adoption to Grow Further

However, these big figures don’t represent the participation of an average cryptocurrency user. Given that each contract of CME represents 5 BTC at a given price, it only caters to accredited and institutional investors.

Spot exchanges are where retailers trade, which record roughly $1 billion of trading volume (on 10 exchanges with real volume) in a day. Although these exchange also serves institutional investors, they likely skew towards retail investors.

The institutional interest, however, is only going to grow from here. WIth Bakkt ready to offer its physically delivered daily and monthly bitcoin futures this month, institutional adoption is further expected to rise.

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