Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) have seen the lowest Bitcoin futures volumes since they launched to much fanfare in December 2017.
Battle Of The Markets
New research by TradeBlock shows that at their summer 2018 peak, combined trading volumes reached near-parity with spot trading volumes across five top US exchanges.
Bitcoin futures trading volume has fallen significantly since peaking in the summer. The latest numbers from December 2018 show the lowest volumes since the products were launched in December 2017.
What’s more, the vast majority of that volume has been through CME. Whilst the two markets were initially neck-and-neck, the gap between them has steadily widened since February 2018.
Volume grew rapidly following the products’ launch, reaching a high-point in July 2018 when it topped $5 billion. At the same time, spot trading volume was falling at digital currency exchanges in the US. Across five of the largest US exchanges (Coinbase, itBit, Kraken, Bitstamp, and Gemini) it fell dramatically, from over $20 billion, down to just over $5 billion.
Between January 2018 and October 2018, spot-trading volume fell 85%, following the general trend of the bitcoin price. Although volumes did start to pick up again in November and December 2018.
Back To The Futures
Meanwhile, following the peaking of the futures market in July and August 2018, volumes almost halved in September and have fallen steadily since. The exception to this was November, when volumes spiked, following volatility and a number of price crashes.
This decline in futures trading over H2 2018, coupled with the resurgence in spot trading, has seen spot trading volumes pull ahead again at the start of 2019.
But 2019 will see the launch of several new bitcoin futures products, from firms such as Bakkt, Nasdaq, ErisX, and CoinFLEX. It will be interesting to see the effect of these platforms on volumes as they come live over the next few months.
And of course, we may need to factor in the effects of volatility in price, should any also occur during this period.
Will futures volumes rebound with increasing price? Share your thoughts below!
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