CME Group, Bitcoin Futures

Open interest for bitcoin futures traded on CME Group’s exchange has reached record highs of $976 million amid a surge of institutional capital inflows to the leading cryptocurrency and its derivative markets.

  • Open interest, or the total number of outstanding derivative contracts, on CME Group’s bitcoin futures market reached its highest level since mid August as iconic players in traditional markets, like Stanley Druckenmiller and Bill Miller, expressed optimistic opinions about bitcoin.
  • The previous record high of $948 million came shortly after another famed investor, Paul Tudor Jones, said he owns bitcoin and planned to take positions in bitcoin futures.
  • So far in 2020, bitcoin has rallied 144%, according to Messari market data.
  • Expanding on the growth craze in CME’s bitcoin market, a spokesperson for the firm told CoinDesk, “The number of large open interest holders (LOIH) is once again at a record 102 holders and we are averaging 101 holders so far in November.”
  • CME’s surge in bitcoin futures positions also comes as incumbent, crypto-only exchanges like BitMEX and Huobi face on-going regulatory challenges and flat or declining open interest through Q3 and Q4.
  • CME’s growth relative to other exchanges is “indicative of institutional investors wanting exposure to bitcoin,” said Phillip Gradwell, chief economist for the blockchain surveillance software firm Chainalysis, in an email to CoinDesk. It also demonstrates the “the increasing separation of fiat and pure crypto markets,” he said.
CME Group, Bitcoin Futures
CME bitcoin futures open interest since Jan. 2020
Source: Skew

Update (November 17, 21:08 UTC): This article has been updated with additional data from CME Group.

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