The total value of contracts that have not yet been settled on Ethereum futures has now surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time.

According to data from market analytics firm Skew, first reported on by Decrypt, the aggregated open interest on ETH futures surpassed the $750 million mark earlier this year ahead of the crypto Black Thursday, which saw the price of bitcoin plummet over 5% in a two-day period, as the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

They surpassed that mark once again in June, and kept on rising to go over the $1 billion mark this week. In comparison, ether futures’ open interest was below $500 million up until February of this year.

Futures are derivative financial contracts that obligate the parties involved to transact an asset at a predetermined date in the future, at a set price. The buyer must therefore purchase or the seller sell the underlying asset at the date at the set price. Futures are often traded by more advanced market players.

On popular cryptocurrency exchange OKEx ether futures are seemingly being traded the most, with open interest being above $290 million. OKEx is followed by Huobi and BitMEX; both of which add over $200 million to the aggregate total.

The $1 billion mark was hit as the price of ether hit a 13-month high above the $300 mark, thanks to increasing interest in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and to progress on the development of Ethereum 2.0, which will help the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap scale further.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Arca has recently launched the “Arca U.S. Treasury Fund,” a digital securities fund registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, which likely further helps legitimize ETH for investors.

The cryptocurrency has been growing so rapidly that the number of active addresses on its network grew by over 170% so far this year, beating bitcoin’s growth of over 70% year-to-date.

Featured image via Pixabay.