The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, or CME, launched the Bitcoin futures contracts at the height of the 2017 cycle. It has become the biggest Bitcoin futures exchange, with more institutional investors flocking to the crypto space.
CME has taken the prime spot on the list of the biggest Bitcoin futures trading platforms, accounting for 19.09% of the global tally of $11 billion on Wednesday.
The CME recorded an open interest of $2.1 billion – the highest among major exchanges tracked by research firm Skew.
Futures are derivative financial contracts that obligate parties to buy and sell a particular asset of a specific quantity and at a predetermined price, at a specified date in the future.
Open interest refers to the number of contracts traded but not squared off with an offsetting position.
OKEx was the second-biggest exchange, with an open interest of $1.97 billion, while Binance ranked third with $1.82 billion.
CME to Launch Ether Futures Contracts
CME Group first launched its cash-settled Bitcoin futures in December 2017.
The surge in popularity for CME’s Bitcoin futures indicates a continued rise in institutional participation. Institutions prefer to trade futures of any product via an established and regulated exchange like the CME.
The market has seen new, institutional investors accelerate their buying spree in Bitcoin, which recorded more than 300% gain in 2020.
After hitting $40,000 for the first time, Bitcoin has pulled back on Friday morning. It is now trading at $37,198.15, with its 24-hour gains narrowing to 2%.
Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, is trading at $1,123.28.
In mid-December, CME announced that it will launch a futures contract on Ether on February 8, 2021.
“Building on the success of Bitcoin futures and options, CME Group will add ether futures to the cryptocurrency risk-management solutions available to trade in February,” CME said.