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  • The company published the latest data on bitcoin futures.
  • The momentum is growing due to high institutional demand.

The operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) says that its bitcoin futures are getting more popular with large investors. In the third quarter, the number of open contracts increased by 61% compared to the same period last year.

“Despite the pullback in bitcoin prices, customer interest in CME Bitcoin futures remained strong during Q3 with daily OI of over 4.6K contracts, up 61% vs Q3 2018,”  the company posted on Twitter.

An open interest (the number of outstanding positions) increased to 4629 contracts, compared to 2873 in the third quarter of 2018 CoinDesk reports. Despite a 25% decline in bitcoin prices in the third quarter of the year, demand for CME BTC futures decreased by only 1% compared to the second quarter.

The average number of contracts traded on a daily basis amounted to 5534 over the past three months, which is 10% more than a year earlier. According to the exchange, it is equivalent to 27,670 BTC or $289 million.

The number of outstanding positions opened by major players (from 25 BTC and above) grew in the third quarter to 47 from 34 a year earlier.

Nearly 50% of the CME bitcoin futures bitcoin-futures trading volume came from outside the United States with 26% coming from the Asia-Pacific region and 21% – from in Europe and the Middle East.

Notably, earlier this year CME announced the launch of another bitcoin derivative instrument, options on bitcoin futures. Tim McCourt, managing director of the company, said that they expect high demand for new products from Asian and European traders.