Úno 09

CBOE and CME Bitcoin Futures See Lowest Volumes Since Launch

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 00. 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!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Led 09

Bitcoin Futures Speculation Allowed in Thailand

· January 9, 2018 · 6:30 am

While the rest of Asia scrambles to regulate cryptocurrencies, some remain open and even welcoming of the blockchain boom. An unlikely nation in the region to be convivial to new technology and innovation beyond state control is Thailand, which is currently in the throes of an ever-lengthening military dictatorship and associated power struggles.


It was reported in the Bangkok Post this week that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said Thailand’s first bitcoin futures trading service offered by a securities company is legitimate but urged investors to apply caution due to high risks.

Thai Futures

According to Phillip Securities Thailand, investors would be allowed to speculate on Bitcoin via an international global derivatives trading service. Market regulators within the country are in consensus that the move is legitimate and can proceed. Similar futures contracts were offered last month by two large Chicago exchanges: CBOE and CME, though products in other countries have yet to get off the ground.

In a press release, managing director Low See Kiong stated:

Using bitcoin as an underlying asset on the CBOE and CME will lead to greater acceptance of bitcoin futures as they have reliable payment systems and are regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

He added that the futures were targeted towards experienced investors that did not want to buy the currency directly on crypto exchanges or from unlicensed brokers.

Open to Trading

The head of global markets at Phillip Securities Thailand told the Bangkok Post that customers wanting to trade Bitcoin futures must apply for the company’s global derivatives service, which will allow them to trade futures on 15 global futures markets, including CBOE and CME. However, investors will need to deposit money to cover their investment margin, and trading will be quoted in US dollars. In reference to margin covers, he added:

In principle, investors should prepare money as a buffer for price movement around 20-30% above the margin. The buffer might be lower for some, depending on the risk management of individuals. For example, if they have a strict policy to stop losses, the buffer may be lower than 10%.

Thailand has one primary crypto exchange offering Bitcoin and ten other altcoins directly in fiat and a few more obscure ones in Bitcoin. Junta leader Prayut Chan-ocha recently warned about the risks of crypto trading and advised that the public be educated about it before jumping in.

Will the rest of Asia open up or continue to crack down on crypto? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of GoodFreePhotos, Pexels, and Bitcoinist archives.

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