Bitcoin Futures Volume on CME Explodes Reaching ATH

Colin Muller

Trading of Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has reached its highest volume ever during the past few days of rallies across the cryptoasset markets. The CME, along with the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), are currently the only regulated Bitcoin futures markets operating in the US.

cmeVol.png(source: Cmegroup.com)

Data from the CME’s website show that 18,338 contracts were bought on 19 Feb. alone. Each contract is comprised of five bitcoin - so on average, about $360 million worth of volume was traded on the CME in one day.

cmeVol2.png(source: TradingView.com)

The CBOE Bitcoin market - which trades one-bitcoin contracts - did not however see a similar, unprecedented explosion in trading. This divergence is consistent with 2018’s trend, as CME Bitcoin trading has continuously risen versus CBOE’s falling Bitcoin volume. CME Bitcoin trading was outpacing CBOE trading by mid-2018 by about six times, according to the Financial Times.

cboeVol.png(source: TradingView.com)

Of course, speaking about the regulated Bitcoin futures markets segues into the less-regulated ones, principally BitMEX. And in this regard, BitMEX’s most popular Bitcoin futures trading product has seen healthy volume - but not record-breaking.

mexVol.png(source: TradingView.com)

Perhaps this volume on an institutionally regulated exchange signals more institutional buying of Bitcoin.

More Coming

CryptoGlobe recently reported that the New York-regulated Kraken exchange will soon offer Bitcoin futures, making it the first regulated exchange to offer both spot and derivative products under one roof.

And of course, the cryptoasset industry continues to wait for the Bakkt launch, a New York Stock Exchange-connect Bitcoin futures product with daily physical settlement. Bakkt has been repeatedly delayed since its original launch date late in 2018 - but are continuing to prepare for the launch with new hires, as CryptoGlobe reported in January.

Nexo Co-Founder: Bitcoin Doubters Are Running Out Of Reasons

Michael LaVere
  • Nexo exec says bitcoin doubters are running out of reasons. 
  • The price of BTC broke $12,600 for the first time in over a year. 

Bitcoin doubters are running out of steam in 2019, especially as the price of BTC trends towards new highs. 

No Longer Doubting Bitcoin

Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of cryptocurrency lending startup Nexo, appeared on CNBC  onJune 25 to take aim at bitcoin detractors. In the interview, Trenchev explained that bitcoin has been declared dead more than 300 times, with 90 occasions occurring in the past year. 

Nexo Antoni Trenchev Bitcoin DoubtersAntoni Trenchev appeared on CNBC to discuss bitcoin's price rally | Source: CNBC

Crypto bears such as Warren Buffett and Peter Schiff have continued to call for the demise of bitcoin, despite the price trading above $11,000. Trenchev declared that bitcoin “has risen from the ashes yet again.”

He continued, 

“I think, you know, the doubters are having a really hard time continuing their cause.”

Institutional Interest In Cryptocurrency

Trenchev gave his reasons for the increased rise in bitcoin price. He highlighted institutional participation, including the launch of JP Morgan’s JPMCoin pilot at the end of the year. Geopolitical turmoil has also been favorable for the price of bitcoin. 

In early April, concerns over Brexit sparked the initial rally which saw bitcoin jump above $4,000. More recently, deteriorating US-China and US-Mexico trade relations have led to anxiety in the stock market. With President Trump now threatening sanctions against Iran, bitcoin is becoming a favorable digital asset for investors fleeing traditional markets. 

Set For New Heights in 2019

Despite crypto proponents losing confidence during last year’s bear market, Trenchev believes skepticism is shifting towards current bitcoin detractors. 

He told CNBC, 

“[During] the bear market of 2018, we’ve seen even the harshest proponents turning skeptical at some point, and this usually is the inflection point from which, you know, assets start rallying again, but I think it is really about institutional support and implications that it has in terms of mass adoption.”

Trenchev also gave a nod to Facebook’s Libra. While Facebook has created a storm of global regulatory concern over Libra, the digital currency has driven new interest into cryptoassets -- even if bitcoin's price was already on the rise. 

In all, Nexo’s co-founder believes it is more difficult to doubt bitcoin in 2019. The landscape for crypto has shifted since last year’s market collapse, which will provide a springboard for adoption and price.