The volume of bitcoin futures being traded broke its previous record on Wednesday, peaking at close to $670m in combined worth from the two issuing exchanges CME and CBOE.
In Chicago on the CME floor, over 11,000 contracts were traded, worth around 56,010 bitcoin (BTC). CME estimated the dollar value of this number to be around $479m, for the single day of trading.
The liquidity of the contracts is growing steadily; daily traded averages stand at around 3,700, which is a 44% increase on last month and moves CME to rank in the top 10 of global crypto exchanges; a significant feat made even more impressive considering CME does not operate 24hours like many crypto exchanges, but rather normal business hours.
The news is generally positive all round: trade with CME is up 250% since bitcoin futures became available in December of last year. Further to this, fellow bitcoin futures exchange CBOE saw its contracts trading at three times the monthly average volume on Wednesday, at an estimated value of $168m, also breaking the exchange’s previous record.
As futures are mostly traded by professional investors, rising liquidity is indicative of traditional finance moving further into crypto. Spikes in trade volume like this often correlate with events like contract expiration, however, both exchanges indicate this was not the case, giving further confidence to the upward trend in activity.
Bitcoin futures began trading amidst controversy in December as many crypto investors worried it would incentivize negative price manipulations from large traditional investment firms. However, whilst the price seemed to somewhat stabilize in the first quarter of 2018, it has recently started to see positive upward movement. As more traditional finance moves into the crypto space, it has been predicted to drive the bitcoin price to unprecedented levels.
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Alex has been putting words on paper since he was old enough to hold a pen; when he bought his first bitcoin in January 2017, those words discovered their place within crypto as well. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his special expertise lies in European cryptocurrency regulation.