Bitcoin futures have experienced strong growth in the second quarter of 2018, with data released by CME Group demonstrating a 93% increase in average daily volume. Open interest in Bitcoin futures,— the number of Bitcoin futures contracts —has also exceeded 2,400, equating to a 58% increase over Q1 2018.
The CME Group began offering BTC futures on December 17, 2018 subsequent to the launch of Bitcoin futures pioneered by the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The availability of Bitcoin futures has remained a point of debate within the cryptocurrency community, catalyzing discussions of price manipulation.
CME’s Bitcoin futures growth data is mirrored by the international average daily volume of the derivatives marketplace, with a recent press release announcing a 13% YTD growth in international average daily volume across 4.2 million contracts.
The recent surge in Bitcoin futures interest follows an increase in the level of institutional investors entering the cryptocurrency market — recent industry movement has seen Coinbase launch a custodian solution for institutional investors resulting in the capture of a $20 billion hedge fund that will expand the financial services offered by the platform.
The highly volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market is attractive to investors seeking to capitalize on price swings via futures contracts.
The CBOE’s recent Bitcoin ETF application has drawn further interest to the availability of complex financial products based on cryptoassets, with BlackRock Inc — the world’s largest provider of exchange-traded funds — recently assembling a working group to investigate the potential of cryptocurrencies.