One can’t always allow the bitcoin price to reflect the popularity levels of the currency. Yes, bitcoin has been undergoing some serious volatility over the past week or two, but it’s usually what’s happening behind specific doors that mark how popular a cryptocurrency is, and in examining the world of bitcoin CME futures trading, one can only assume that the currency’s status in the financial system is spiking quickly.
CME Is at the Top of Its Game
A new report submitted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group shows that bitcoin futures trading in 2019 is at an all-time high. Interest in the coin is significantly up when compared to how it was last August, and further rises are expected over the coming weeks.
Bitcoin has been on a roll since April of this year when it broke the $5,000 line for the first time in several months. Prior to that, bitcoin had spent the last five months in the gutter and trading for approximately $3,500 – roughly 70 percent less than where it had been during the first half of 2018. This has likely caused the currency’s popularity to stir, which in turn leads to higher trading and stronger products.
CME Group managing director and global head of equity products and alternative investments Tim McCourt commented:
Year-to-date, bitcoin futures are averaging 7,237 contracts per day, which is a 132 percent increase from the same period last year… This is an exciting time for bitcoin futures, as well as for cryptocurrency assets in general. There is a lot of broad investor interest in cryptocurrency, as well as growing interest in a variety of applications for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. It will be interesting to see how this new market continues to grow and scale. For us at CME Group, a major focus is education, and making sure our customers have all the tools they need to make solid strategic decisions around crypto.
CME is unique in the sense that it’s stuck around. In other words, it hasn’t let certain economic issues weigh it down. The company began launching bitcoin futures in December 2017, around the same time that bitcoin reached its all-time high of nearly $20,000. From there, however, we all remember what happened… Bitcoin began sinking deeper and deeper into oblivion, and before long, many companies offering bitcoin products were certain they had made a mistake.
CBOE, for example, discontinued its bitcoin futures program by the time 2019 rolled around, but CME weathered the storm and decided that these contracts were inherently worth providing. Clearly, the decision has paid off.
Sticking Around was the Right Thing to Do
Our role is to help bitcoin market participants manage their risk, regardless of whether the underlying price goes up or down. We’re pleased with the growth of CME Group bitcoin futures so far.