CME Micro Bitcoin Futures surpass 1 million contracts as institutional speculation grows
Institutional exposure to cryptocurrencies via derivatives continued to grow in the second quarter as CME Group’s newly launched Bitcoin (BTC) microcontract received a significant boost in its first two months of trading.
Since its launch on May 3, CME Micro Bitcoin Futures have exceeded 1 million contracts traded, the Chicago-based derivatives market announced earlier this week. CME CEO Tim McCourt said the new product is popular with institutions and day traders looking to hedge their spot Bitcoin price.
Valued at 0.1 BTC, this microcontract is one-tenth the size of Bitcoin. For comparison, the main unit of CME Bitcoin futures contracts is 5 BTC.
“We saw more institutional volume than expected, which indicates the right time for a mini-bitcoin contract,” said Brooks Dudley, global head of digital assets at ED&F Man Capital Markets.
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According to CoinShares data, during the recent correction, institutions reduced their long-term exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with total outflows totaling $ 79 million last week. In the case of BTC, the newly liquidated coins are held by long-term owners who are still convinced of the long-term prospects of their investment.
More activity in the derivatives market shows that traders are hedging their positions, speculating on bitcoin’s short-term directional move, or both. While derivatives trading has increased institutional exposure to Bitcoin, it has also become a source of stress for spot holders. As Cointelegraph reported, the $ 6 billion bitcoin and ether (ETH) expiration on Friday created significant conflict in the market, with some traders expecting extreme volatility.
High volatility was reported in the second half of the week, with the BTC price falling between Jan.