CME Crypto Trading Volume Slumped to 2-Year Low in December

Poor market sentiment and an extreme lack of volatility were the likely culprits behind the declines.

AccessTimeIconJan 5, 2023 at 5:51 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:05 a.m. UTC

Derivatives giant Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) crypto-related trading volumes suffered a steep falloff in the last month of 2022.

Total crypto derivatives volume plunged 49.2% to $14.2 billion, according to CryptoCompare, the weakest since October 2020. Bitcoin futures volume was down 48.3% to $13.2 billion, with ether futures volume off 55.3% to $481 million.

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  • Historical monthly bitcoin futures volume on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CryptoCompare)
    Historical monthly bitcoin futures volume on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CryptoCompare)

    The slump was in line with spot trading volumes across the industry, according to the report. That amount fell 48.4% to $544 billion, the lowest figure since December 2019.

    “[The fall] coincides with the loss of users’ trust in centralized exchanges following the collapse of FTX in November, leading investors to take a cautious stance amid concerns over further contagion," the report's authors wrote.

    Also at issue was a startling lack of volatility, with bitcoin (BTC) essentially flatlining during most of the month in the mid-$16,000 area.

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    Lyllah Ledesma

    Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.