Strong Institutional Demand for Bitcoin, CME Becomes Second Largest BTC Futures Market


Bitcoin's price made a big shift this week as the bulls gained control of the market and pushed it past $13,000.

A similar shift has been seen in the open interest recorded by the bitcoin trading platforms. The biggest change has obviously been in derivatives exchange BitMEX, which has been seeing a constant decline since earlier this month when CFTC brought down criminal charges against it.

From 55k BTC OI on Oct. 1st, it fell to 28k BTC yesterday, a decline of nearly 50%.

In USD terms, the OI has dropped from $781 million in late Sept. to under $600 million, but the recent jump in BTC price helped it get back above it but barely.

Interestingly, CME enjoyed a good uptick during the same period, showcasing strong institutional demand for bitcoin.

With $790 million in OI this month, the OI on CME recorded a growth of almost 130%, from $345 million on Oct. 2nd. And this uptrend helped the regulated trading platform become the second-largest futures market for bitcoin.

“The OI on the CME BTC futures has climbed aggressively lately. CME is currently the second-largest futures market for bitcoin, holding 15.7% of the total OI in the BTC futures market. This is still slightly below CME's record share of the total market OI from August of 16.2%,” noted Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research.

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Another crypto exchange seeing an incremental exchange in OI is FTX, which saw an increase of just over 103% from $166 million at the beginning of this month to $337 million.

Other exchanges Deribit (+79%), Binance (+72%), ByBit (+44.5%), Kraken (+41.4%), Bitfinex (+35%), OKEx (+25%), and Huobi (+18%), all recorded an uptick as well but of small percentage compared to CME.

Unlike others, Bakkt’s 50% wasn’t sustainable, and it continues to move up and down while keeping below $18 million.

Markets are healthy, not just OI, but solid activity has been recorded across spot, futures, and options as well. The big session has been the result of PayPal announcing support for cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: ‌PayPal Exploring Acquiring Crypto Companies, Already in Talks with Bitcoin Custodian BitGo

And with this, futures are no longer in backwardation.

“Bitmex, bybit BTC futures are now higher than spot ($10-25). An interesting shift of market sentiment. People are finally starting to become bullish. But that doesn't mean this is the top. It can take weeks or months for the top to happen. Funding rate will be the key indicator,” noted trader Crypto Squeeze.

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