Crypto Markets

BTC Futures Volume Plummets Relative to Spot Trade Heading Into 2019


Research carried out by Tradeblock has found the combined trade volume across the futures contracts offered by Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) plummet relative to spot market volume during the second half of 2018.

Also Read: Mt. Gox Creditors Neither Need nor Deserve This Kind of ‘Hero’

BTC Futures Volume Rivals Combined Trade Activity Across Leading Spot Exchanges During Q3 2018

Despite the hype surrounding the launch of CME and CBOE’s BTC futures contracts at the end of 2017, said markets comprised a small fraction of combined trade activity taking place on Coinbase, Itbit, Kraken, Bitstamp, and Gemini.

With the burst of the 2018 bubble, however, spot volume fell by more than 70 percent when comparing January’s trade activity with average monthly volume posted during the second half of 2018.

BTC Futures Volume Plummets Relative to Spot Trade Heading Into 2019

Mixed with a more than doubling in CME futures trade activity, trade volume for CBOE and CME’s BTC futures came to rival that of Coinbase, Itbit, Kraken, BItstamp, and Gemini’s combined spot volume during the third quarter of 2018 – with CME’s volume dwarfing that of each individual exchange.

Futures See Volume Drop-Off During Final Quarter of 2018

While the volume of both the BTC spot and futures markets saw decline during September and October, November saw the combined spot markets post their strongest monthly volume since May, while the futures markets posted their second weakest month of the year.

BTC Futures Volume Plummets Relative to Spot Trade Heading Into 2019

While December saw the spot market post a healthy retracement, trade activity in the futures markets fell by more than half to post its worst performing month since launch, suggesting a shift away from the cryptocurrency derivatives offered by CME and CBOE in favor of the traditional cryptocurrency markets.

On Feb. 1, CME published a report stating that the average daily trade volume for its BTC contracts was $80 million during the previous 283 days, which, combined with CBOE’s approximately $10.65 million in daily trade, shows that the futures markets are currently falling roughly 4.5 percent short of rivaling the 24-hour trade volume between BTC and USDT on Binance.

Do you think that we will continue to see a decline in trade activity across the futures markets this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradeblock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

Tags in this story
2019, Bitcoin Core, board, BTC, cbloe, Chicago, CME, contracts, Exchange, Futures, Heading, mercantile, N-Markets and Prices, options, Plummets, Relative, Spot, trade, volume
Samuel Haig

Samuel Haig is a journalist who has been completely obsessed with bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012. Samuel lives in Tasmania, Australia, where he attended the University of Tasmania and majored in Political Science, and Journalism, Media & Communications. Samuel has written about the dialectics of decentralization, and is also a musician and kangaroo riding enthusiast.





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