CME Bitcoin Futures Contract Hits Volume High of 5,053 Contracts in Q3, up by 41%


CME Group announced its average daily volumes in the third quarter. Bitcoin futures ADV rose 41 percent to 5,053 contracts with open interest increasing by 19 percent to 2,873.

CME Group Announces Bitcoin Futures Contracts Volume Up By 41%

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), described by The Economist as “the biggest financial exchange you have never heard of,” was the first large financial markets operator to roll out BTC futures contracts. The event, which took place in mid-December, was a key driver of the cryptocurrency fever of late 2017.

With 10 months of Bitcoin futures trading under the belt, CME Group has published its average daily volume report for the third quarter. “In Q3, Bitcoin futures average daily volume rose 41 percent and open interest was up 19 percent over Q2 . Learn how market participants are using BTC to manage risk in changing markets,” it said.

Open interest for CME Bitcoin futures contracts has risen from 1,523 contracts in Q1 2018 to 2,405 contracts in Q2, before another bump to 2,873 contracts in Q3. Open interest is the total number of open or outstanding futures contracts that exist at a given time.

Average daily volume has gone from 1,854 contracts in Q1 2018 to 3,577 contracts in Q2 and then 5,053 contracts in Q3. Each contract unit is composed by five Bitcoins as defined by the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR). This means that the 5,053 contracts traded in Q3 were composed by 25,265 BTC, which are worth approximately $162 million in today’s rate.

Investors use CME Bitcoin futures contracts to hedge Bitcoin exposure or harness its performance. Traded on the CME Globex platform, the October 2018 futures contract is pricing Bitcoin at $6,380 at the moment of writing, having hit a low $6,330 and a high at $6,480 in today’s market. The December 2018 futures contract is trading at $6,390.

Globally, CME Group averaged 15.6 million contracts per day in the third quarter of 2018, down one percent from the third quarter of 2017, according to the report. This puts the CME Bitcoin futures contract into perspective. When compared to the rest of the contracts traded on the exchange operator worldwide, Bitcoin futures are insignificant, weighing only 0.03% of all trading at CME Group.

Bitcoin futures contracts are seen as a way in for institutional investors, which are found to be the drivers of a future rally in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. A number of cryptocurrency hedge funds have entered the market in 2018 and several high-profile institutions, including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and MIT, have trusted their money in at least one fund.

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