CME Becomes Biggest Bitcoin Futures Exchange as Institutional Interest Rises

Chicago Mercantile Exchange now tops the list of the biggest bitcoin futures trading platforms, accounting for nearly 20% of all open interest.

Jan 7, 2021 at 11:27 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:52 a.m. UTC

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has taken the prime spot on the list of the biggest bitcoin futures trading platforms, indicating a continued rise in institutional participation.

  • With an open interest of $2.1 billion, the CME accounted for 19.09% of the global tally of $11 billion on Wednesday – the highest among major exchanges tracked by Skew, a crypto derivatives research firm.
  • OKEx was the second-biggest exchange with an open interest of $1.97 billion, while Binance, the word's biggest crypto spot exchange by trading volume, ranked third with $1.82 billion.
  • Open interest refers to the number of contracts traded but not squared off with an offsetting position.

Bitcoin futures open interest

  • Looking back a year, the size of the futures market was quite small. Global open interest stood at $3 billion on Jan. 7, 2020, of which the CME contributed just 7% or $224 million.
  • The CME has steadily climbed ranks over the past 12 months and more so over the past three months alongside bitcoin's meteoric price rally from $10,000 to record highs above $37,000.
  • The exchange is considered synonymous with institutional trading, as it prefers to trade futures of any product via an established and regulated exchange like the CME.
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