CME becomes second-largest Bitcoin futures exchange as open interest surges

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a regulated derivatives exchange that lists Bitcoin (BTC) futures, now stands just behind Binance in terms of notional open interest to rank second in the list of BTC futures exchanges.

The CME’s open interest hit $3.58 billion on Oct. 30, pushing the regulated derivatives exchange platform to jump two positions from the previous week. The CME overtook Bybit and OKX with $2.6 billion and $1.78 billion in open interest, respectively, and is just a few million away from Binance’s $3.9 billion.

The standard Bitcoin futures contract offered by CME is valued at five BTC, while the micro contract is worth a tenth of a Bitcoin. Perpetual futures, instead of ordinary futures contracts, are the main focus of open interest in offshore exchanges, as they come without an expiration date and use the funding rate method to maintain their price parity with the market price.

Bitcoin open interest refers to the total number of outstanding Bitcoin futures or options contracts in the market. It measures the amount of money invested in Bitcoin derivatives at any given time. The open interest measures the capital flowing in and out of the market. If more capital flows to Bitcoin futures, the open interest will increase. However, if the capital flows out, the open interest will decline. Hence, increasing open interest reflects a bullish sentiment, whereas a declining open interest indicates bearish sentiment.

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The CME’s rising open interest not only helped the regulated futures exchange to climb to the second spot among futures crypto exchanges but also saw its cash-settled futures contracts exceed 100,000 BTC in volume. The rising interest of traders in the Bitcoin futures market has also propelled the CME to attain 25% of the Bitcoin futures market share.

A majority chunk of investment into CME futures has come via standard futures contracts, indicating an influx of institutional interest as Bitcoin registered a massive double-digit surge in October, helping it reach a new one-year high above $35,000.

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