The CME Group, a Chicago-based exchange operator that’s been offering bitcoin futures contracts since December of 2017, has revealed big investors are gaining interest in the product.

According to CoinDesk, the exchange revealed through a statement that the number of open contracts is up 61% since last year thanks to growing demand from intuitional investors. The number of outstanding positions rose to 4,629 contracts from 2,873 in the third quarter of last year.

This despite a significant drop in the price of bitcoin this quarter, as the flagship cryptocurrency is currently trading at around $8,300, down from a $13,800 peak this year. The average daily volume of contracts traded this quarter was of 5,534, or the equivalent of 27,670 bitcoin – $around $290 million.

CME added the volume is up 10% from the same period last year, and that institutional flow has been remaining strong.

Institutional flow remained strong, with 454 new accounts added, compared with 231 added in the third quarter of 2018.

The exchange reportedly further added that its investors holding more than 25 bitcoin, equivalent to around $200,000, rose to 47 from 45 in the second quarter of the year, and from 34 in Q3 of last year.

Around 50% of the trading volumes CME’s bitcoin futures contracts have been getting comes from outside the United States, with 26% being from Asia and 21% from Europe and the Middle East.

At the time CME launched its bitcoin futures contracts so did Cboe, another regulated exchange that suspended its BTC offering in March of this year. Presumably it dropped the offering because of low trading volumes.

The exchange now faces competition from Bakkt, however, the Intercontinental Exchange’s crypto venture that launched earlier this year. It offers physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts and has been seeing its trading volumes grow.

Featured image via Pixabay.