It’s been about two years since CME launched bitcoin futures in December 2017. Since then, as spot bitcoin prices have experienced multiple up and down cycles, a wide range of market participants have adopted the futures contracts for their hedging and trading needs.
Year to date, nearly 6,400 bitcoin futures contracts have traded each day (equal to 31,850 bitcoin) at CME in 2019. There is open interest in all four monthly futures expiries, meaning CME is creating a forward curve for this market, so investors can better discover prices and manage price risk. Earlier this week, the exchange expanded the listing cycle of bitcoin futures to six consecutive monthly futures expiries ahead of the January 2020 launch of options on bitcoin futures.
Half of all trades were from outside the US during 2019: more than 3,600 individual accounts have traded CME’s futures since launch, including approximately 1,600 new accounts in 2019, suggesting a variety of participants are using the markets to trade or hedge bitcoin price risk.
“We’ve seen strong participation from institutional investors, physical bitcoin traders and other clients who value the transparency, price discovery and risk transfer that only a regulated marketplace like CME Group can offer,” said Tim McCourt, a managing director and global head of equity products at CME Group in a Linked In post.