CME Bitcoin Futures Daily Trading Volume Hits 2020 Low - That's a Bullish Sign

Daily trading volume in bitcoin (BTC) futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) dropped to year-to-date lows on Friday.

AccessTimeIconFeb 24, 2020 at 5:32 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 12:20 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Daily trading volume in bitcoin (BTC) futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) dropped to year-to-date lows on Friday. 

The volume hit $118 million, the lowest level since Dec. 31. On that day futures recorded volume of $112 million, according to Skew Markets. 

What’s worth noting is volumes have pulled back sharply from the multi-month highs registered on Feb. 18. CME traded $1.1 billion in volume this past Tuesday. That was the first above-$1 billion daily volume since June 27, 2019. 

Bitcoin CME futures contracts, which went live in December 2017, have recorded above-$1 billion daily volume only three times.

CME Bitcoin Futures Total Open Interest and Volumes
CME Bitcoin Futures Total Open Interest and Volumes

While daily volume collapsed in the last three trading days of the previous week, open interest remained near the seven-month high of $338 million, registered on Feb. 14.

Open interest refers to the number of futures contracts outstanding on an official exchange at any one time, while volume is the number of contracts traded in a given period.

A drop in volume accompanied by an elevated open interest is usually considered a sign of investors holding on to their positions. In such cases, the market usually extends the preceding move; bitcoin’s price rose over 50 percent from lows below $7,000 to $10,500 in the six and a half weeks to Feb. 18. 

A rally like that is said to have legs since the price gain was backed by an increase in open interest and trading volume. In the first six weeks of the year, daily volumes increased from $176 million to $1.1 billion and open interest rose from $127 million to $338 million. 

Bakkt open interest slides

Activity in bitcoin futures listed on Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt platform has cooled recently, with open interest plunging from a record high of $19 million down to $10 million in just seven days to Feb. 20. 

Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Total Open Interest and Volumes
Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Total Open Interest and Volumes

Meanwhile, daily trading volume (cash-settled plus physically-settled) declined to $18.6 million on Feb. 21, the lowest since Jan. 24. Bakkt futures witnessed a record trading volume of $50.1 million on Dec. 18.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.