Institutional investors are reportedly betting on bitcoin’s long-term performance, and shifting towards physically-delivered futures over cash-settled ones.
According to a report published by derivatives trading platform, ZUBR, first spotted by Decrypt, open interest on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and other regulated exchanges has “remained consistently higher in comparison to their traded volumes,” indicating institutional investors are looking at BTC in the long-term.
This indicates that traders on these venues are increasingly looking at the long-term outlook and aren’t very easily swayed by large increases or decreases in price.
Per ZUBR’s report, the correlation of traded volume is similar on unregulated trading platforms, but differs significantly on regulated BTC products, confirming a “long-term bias or institutional investors.”
The report claims that at the end of August 2020 bitcoin futures trading volumes broke past $3 trillion for the year, and that one-year trading volumes surpassed $4 trillion from September 2019 up until mid-September 2020. Currently, there’s also more open-interest on exchange than there is “trading volume at any point in time.”
On leading spot exchange Binance, the open-interest to volume ratio shows traders close their positions much faster than on regulated trading platforms where institutional investors are trading. The ratio has increased – more open-interest compared to trading volume – on regulated platforms like Bakkt and the CME, while retail-geared crypto trading platforms have seen the ratio remain flat.
Per ZUBR, CME traders “lead the pack keeping their positions open,” even during the bear market seen earlier this year. Even during the so-called crypto ‘Black Thursday’ Bakkt and CME traders had “the highest levels of open-interest in comparison to traded volume.”
The report concludes:
The writings might not be on the wall yet for full-scale institutional interest. But there is a clear long-term interest in the cryptocurrency on regulated exchanges that has not been seen before.
It adds cash-settled futures accounted form ore than Bakkt’s total traded volume at the start of the year, but have been losing share to physically-delivered bitcoin contracts over time. August closed off with physically-delivered contracts, where investors get the actual underlying BTC at expiry, account for 72% of Bakkt’s trading volume.