The total value of contracts that have not yet been settled on Ethereum futures has hit a new all-time high above $1.5 billion as interest for the second-largest crypto by market cap keeps growing.

According to data from market analytics firm Skew, the aggregate open interest on Ethereum futures surpassed $750 million earlier this year ahead of the crypto Black Thursday, which saw the price of most cryptoassets, including bitcoin, drop by over 50% over two days.

The so-called crypto Black Thursday occurred after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic and all major U.S. stock market indices entered bear market territory. The $750 million was once again surpassed in June, and the $1 billion barrier was breached in late July.

Since then, open interest on Ethereum futures has kept on rising, to the point there are now over $1.5 billion worth of outstanding contracts.

It’s worth noting futures are derivatives financial contracts that obligate the parties involved to transact an asset at a predetermined date in the future, at a set price. These derivatives are often traded by more advanced market players, with some using them to leverage their positions on a given asset.

The cryptocurrency exchanges in which ether futures contracts are being traded the most include BitMEX, OKEx, FTX, and Huobi. The $1.5 billion mark is being hit as the price of ether moves past the $430 mark for the first time since August 2018. Demand for the cryptocurrency has been growing partly thanks to decentralized applications and the yield farming trend.

As CryptoGlboe reported, demand for ether has been growing so much that so far this year transaction fees are up over 3,500%, as at the beginning of the year, the average transaction fee paid to move ether on the blockchain was $0.084, but with the growing interest in decentralized finance and the cryptocurrency’s price rising, the average fee is now above the $3 mark.

Network usage has also been rising, with over one million ETH transactions being confirmed on the network daily.  Earlier this year, 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.

Featured image via Pixabay.