CME’s Bitcoin Futures Growth Positions it as Binance’s Prime Competitor

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New Member
Jul 18, 2023
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has become the second-largest Bitcoin futures exchange, with a notional open interest value of $3.54 billion. This rise has attracted the attention of market analysts, who are divided on whether it is due to increased institutional interest.

CME’s Rise in the Futures Market

CME, a regulated entity, has seen significant growth in its bitcoin futures and perpetual futures exchanges. It has climbed to the position of the second-largest bitcoin futures exchange, surpassing its previous rank of fourth place. Open interest represents the U.S. dollar value of active contracts.

Binance Remains the Leader

Despite CME’s impressive rise, Binance remains the top bitcoin futures exchange with an open interest of $3.83 billion, leading CME by 8%.

CME’s Recent Performance

CME’s cash-settled futures contracts recently surpassed 100,000 BTC in open interest. The market share of CME in BTC futures has reached an all-time high of 25%.

Different Types of Futures Contracts

CME offers standard and micro bitcoin futures contracts, with the standard contract corresponding to 5 BTC and the micro contract representing one-tenth of a BTC. They also provide standard and micro ether futures contracts, with the standard contract representing 50 ETH and the micro contract equating to one-tenth of 1 ETH.

Perpetual Futures and Offshore Exchanges

Offshore exchanges tend to see more open interest in perpetual futures contracts compared to traditional ones. Perpetual futures contracts have no expiration date and use a funding rate method to align with the spot market price.

Interpreting CME’s Rise

Some market observers believe that CME’s rise in the bitcoin futures space indicates increased institutional participation. This can be attributed to ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties and the anticipation of spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Retail investors have also shown interest in futures-based ETFs, with the ProShares bitcoin futures ETF experiencing a significant increase in trading volume.

Contrasting Views

Research lead Andre Dragosch from Deutsche Digital Assets offers a contrasting view. He suggests that CME’s growth may be due to the liquidation of bearish positions on offshore platforms. Dragosch argues that the overall volume of BTC futures and perpetuals in BTC has not increased significantly, indicating that the rise in CME’s rank may not be primarily driven by long futures positions.


CME’s rise to become the second-largest bitcoin futures exchange has generated mixed opinions on its cause. While some believe it is due to heightened institutional interest, others attribute it to the liquidation of bearish positions on offshore platforms. Overall, the growth of bitcoin futures and perpetual futures trading reflects the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in both institutional and retail markets..


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