Bitcoin futures trading volume on the regulated Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has been plummeting in the past few days, a decline that saw it drop 69% from August 13, when over 8,000 BTC contracts were traded.
As first spotted by MarketWatch, BTC futures trading volume on CME has been dropping to recent lows, from over 7,200 contracts on August 15 to a low of 2,480 on August 20. Yesterday, August 21, a total of 3,373 contracts were traded.
The decline comes at a time in which the price of most cryptocurrencies keeps on declining. According to CryptoCompare data bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, saw its price drop from about $6,600 to $6,270 this week, before it started to recover.
Recently, BTC added $400 in about 20 minutes after scheduled maintenance at crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX triggered a short squeeze. Since then, the cryptocurrency dropped to roughly $6,460 at press time.
Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, noted the falling volatility could be a good sign for cryptocurrency proponents. He was quoted as saying:
A steady price range is healthy for bitcoin as it increases its use as a stable store of value and gives developers of the network more time to build the infrastructure that will be needed going forward.
As CryptoGlobe covered, the recent short squeeze could’ve been an unintended consequence of an upcoming Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision regarding two Bitcoin ETFs, the ProShares Bitcoin ETF, and the ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF. This, as traders were likely expecting a rejection and, as such, piled short sells.
Notably CME isn’t the only exchange seeing bitcoin-related trading volume plummet. A report recently published by cryptoasset research firm Diar revealed the volume at San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase plummeted 83% this year, as it processed over $21 billion worth of trades in January and about $4 billion in July.
Coinbase’s volume, along with that of Bitstamp and Kraken, per the report, seemingly shifted to exchanges outside of the US. This as Binance and OKEx saw their trading volumes grow, with OKEx hitting a record $5.5 billion traded in July.
At press time, most altcoins are down anywhere between 0.2% and 3.5%. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is trading at $275, while Litecoin is trading at $55.2.