11 Oct 2021

Institutional traders have woken up - CME’s share of the global open interest in the BTC futures market reaches Q1 highs

Institutional traders have returned to bitcoin. CME’s share of the global open interest in the bitcoin futures reaches 17%, the highest level recorded since February 2021.
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CME’s open interest is growing at a rapid rate. From September 28th until today, the open interest on CME’s bitcoin futures has more than doubled from $1.5 billion to $3.3 billion. The growing open interest on CME has by far outpaced the broad bitcoin futures market, leading CME’s share of the OI in the BTC futures market to grow from 12% to 17% in the last two weeks. The growing basis premium suggests that CME traders are mostly focused on adding long-exposure at the time being. As we show in slide 13, CME’s front-month contract have actually traded at a higher premium than the unregulated futures venues.Typical late-to-the-party futures venues such as Bybit have seen a far less pronounced growth than CME in the last week, seeing its share of the global open interest decline from 14% to 12% in the same period. We view this as a healthy signal from the futures market, as rapid growth in Bybit’s OI has previously tended to be a signal of an overextended market, whereas the opposite has been true with growing OI from the CME futures.
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