First Mover Americas: BTC and ETH CME Futures See Record Participation From Big Traders

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for July 27, 2023.

AccessTimeIconJul 27, 2023 at 1:12 p.m. UTC

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Derivatives giant Chicago Mercantile Exchange's (CME) regulated bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) futures saw record participation from large traders in the second quarter. The number of large open interest holders, or entities holding at least 25 bitcoin futures contracts, averaged a record 107 in the second quarter, the CME said in an email to CoinDesk. Ether's so-called large open interest holders averaged 62 through the second quarter. "Bitcoin futures institutional interest continued to increase throughout the quarter as investors sought regulated venues/products to hedge rising market volatility and manage risk and exposure," the exchange said.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) wants FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to spend the remainder of his time before his criminal trial in jail, alleging he has tried multiple times to tamper with witnesses. Bankman-Fried, flanked by two attorneys, appeared in federal court Wednesday after the DOJ alleged he shared documents with the New York Times to try and discredit former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, with whom he'd previously been in a relationship. Assistant U.S. attorney Danielle Sassoon opened the hearing by saying the DOJ was seeking Bankman-Fried's detention. "It is the government's view that no set of release conditions can secure the safety of the community," she said. "... it appears to be undisputed the defendant provided the documents quoted [in the New York Times] ... to discredit [Ellison]."

Meta (META) hasn’t given up on the metaverse despite a very public pivot to artificial intelligence. “Our investments in AI continue,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the company earnings call Wednesday evening. “We remain fully committed to the Metaverse vision as well,” he continued. “We've been working on both of these two major priorities for many years in parallel now, and in many ways the two areas are overlapping and complementary.”. The focus on the metaverse hasn’t been profitable for the social media giant – Meta’s Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) unit, which is responsible for metaverse, lost $13.7 billion on revenue of $2.2 billion in 2022, up from a loss of $10.2 billion on revenue of $2.3 billion the previous year.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows bitcoin's price on Bitfinex and the exchange's stablecoin ratio since mid-2020. The exchange stablecoin ratio is the ratio of the market value of bitcoin held in the exchange wallets to the market cap of stablecoins stored in the exchange wallets.
  • The ratio has surged since January 14.
  • Per market analyst Cole Garner, blow ups in the ratio have historically portended bullish price action.
  • Source: Cole Garner, CryptoQuant

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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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.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.