CME records record activity during bear market

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CME records record activity during bear market

Bitcoin and Ether derivatives contracts offered by CME Group saw record activity in the second quarter, offering tangible evidence that professional traders were still accessing the digital asset during the bear market. Average daily open interest (OI) for CME's crypto futures products reached 106,200 contracts in the second quarter, the highest in history, the company announced on Thursday.

In futures markets, OI reflects the total number of derivative contracts that have not been settled. In terms of average daily volume, 10,700 Bitcoin contracts were traded in the second quarter; Ether's daily volume was 6,100 contracts.

During the week of June 21, large open interest holders (LOIH) accessing CME Group's crypto products hit a high of 404, signaling “growing institutional investor interest in crypto,” the firm said. Despite extreme market volatility for Bitcoin and Ether, CME Group's crypto futures have been "a haven of consistent liquidity with continued volume and open interest growth for investors," said Tim McCourt, CME's global head of equity and forex products, adding: "The variety of products, including micro Bitcoin and micro Ether futures and smaller options, offers enhanced flexibility and trading precision for a range of market participants, including large institutions as well as sophisticated, active traders."

In 2017, CME Group became the second derivatives market to offer Bitcoin futures contracts, trailing its cross-town rival CBOE Global Markets by one week. By the end of 2020, CME's cumulative Bitcoin futures volume reached $100 billion.

The exchange has launched several crypto derivatives products

The exchange has since launched several crypto derivatives products, including small-cap Bitcoin and Ether options. These contracts are 10% of the size of their crypto assets, giving traders more options to hedge their exposure.

On Thursday, CME revealed that its Micro BTC product had an average daily volume of 17,400 contracts in the second quarter. The daily volume for their ETH equivalent micro contract was 21,300.