Open positions on Bitcoin futures were around 3,300 in December 2019. Recently, the CME Group launched its BTC futures options product.

It was reported that Bitcoin futures negotiations at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group have returned to levels that had not been seen since July 2019. Until now in January this year, the open interest index (positions that are not closed every day) of that product has been around 5,000 contracts.

In contrast, the average number of open positions on CME futures last December was 3,322, according to data from the CME Group itself. According to the same source, it closed with an open interest of 4,949 contracts on Monday, January 13th. If those numbers are compared concerning the average in December, the increase is close to 50%.

Before January 2020, the average has exceeded 5,000 only twice within a month in this open interest index for contract negotiations at the CME Group. Those levels were registered in June and July 2019, after which those figures fell month after month for the rest of the year.

It was at its best on January 7th, when the open interest exceeded 5,400, as the CME Group described at the time through its Twitter account. It should be noted that this figure is above the best record reached in May last year.

Each Bitcoin futures contract at the CME Group is equivalent to a total of 5 BTC. Therefore, the current open interest volumes correspond to about 25,000 BTC. If the current price of BTC on the market is considered, the figure is around USD 217,000,000. At the time of writing this article, the value of BTC is USD 8,714, according to market data from CoinMarketCap.

New Bitcoin Futures Options

This rebound coincides with the launch of a new Bitcoin derivative product at the CME Group. These are the options on Bitcoin futures contracts, whose quotation is equivalent to 5 BTC, the same as that of futures.

According to data from the firm Skew, published on January 13th on Twitter, during the first day of the negotiations of these options on the CME Globex platform, 55 contracts were traded, that is, an equivalent to more than USD 2,300,000, at the rate of 275 BTC.

Greater Attention on Bitcoin Derivatives

There is no doubt that Bitcoin futures have been gaining popularity, a growth in which the CME Group has played an important role. Even though Bitcoin derivatives already existed, the launch of CME futures in 2017 was one of the first regulated product offerings in this environment.

Recent figures suggest greater institutional attention towards Bitcoin derivatives, something that is ratified by product launches of this type on other platforms, the most recent of which is the case of Bakkt.

As was the case in 2017, the launch of the new CME product seems to have had a positive impact on the price of Bitcoin. The rebound on Tuesday, January 14th, exceeds 6% in the last 24 hours, according to figures from CoinMarketCap.

By Alexander Salazar


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