After CBOE’s halt on Bitcoin futures contract, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) became the sole-exchange making Bitcoin futures available for institutional investors. The latter has been witnessing record volumes with Bitcoin’s recent rise from the ashes. So far we have only seen Bitcoin futures, but this may soon be changing.
The U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) had announced that they are ready to allow ETH futures if presented in a proper manner from the exchanges. So far, we have not seen a request from the CME for these contracts, but we have seen an alteration in the reference rate for their Ether-Dollar index. Their reference rate previously consisted of Kraken’s and Bitstamp’s pricing data and it now includes itBit‘s as well. This adds more certainty to the robustness of the data and reduces the odds of errors occurring due to market manipulation.
This may or may not had been done in anticipation of the release of ETH futures contracts. Either way, robust data is necessary for further developments in this space. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that although the CME Bitcoin futures volume reached over $500 million, BitMEX’s volume was double that amount, which indicates this market is still majorly retail-driven as institutions are unlikely to trade on unregulated exchanges. Moreover, $500 million is a very minimal amount for institutions. This may soon change however as more liquidity enters the market with Bakkt, Fidelity Digital Assets and SBI VC.
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