Bitcoin [BTC]: CBOE and CME record lowest Bitcoin futures trading volume since inception

The world of cryptocurrency has been expecting keenly the day when cryptocurrencies are more widely adopted by major investment firms. The recent comment of an SEC commissioner that a Bitcoin ETF has a high probability of being approved was a step forward towards this development. However, in what could be a spanner in the works, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) have recently seen the lowest Bitcoin futures volumes since they launched in December 2017.

According to research by Tradeblock, the data shows that Bitcoin futures trading volume has fallen significantly after they peaked in the summer, since their launch in early 2018.  In the summer of 2018, the combined trading volumes across the top five US exchanges had reached near equivalence with the spot trading volumes.

Over the course of 2018, CBOE and CME both launched their competing products in the market. However, over the course of the entire year, CBOE lost significant market shares to CME. The chart below demonstrates the volume of trade over the months.

CME vs Cboe Bitcoin Futures Notional Trading Volume Over Time | Source: TradeBlock

Upon careful observation of the chart, it can be observed that the initial volume trading was neck and neck between the institutions since the launch and it also reached a high point in July 2018, when the trading volume reached its summit at over $5 billion. However since then, there has been a consistent decline of volume which has caused spot volume trading to fall by almost 85%. Although the volume showed a little uptrend in November and December, the uptrend only came at the end of CME.

Bitcoin Spot Notional Trading Volume Over Time | Source: TradeBlock

According to research, the constant decline in spot trading might be following parity with the exit of retail traders from the crypto space following the collapse of asset prices. The exit might be linked to the falling of search engine trends for bitcoin and cryptocurrency which were earlier used to gauge retail investor curiosity.

Interestingly, Bitcoin trading had recently demonstrated the highest transaction per block and approached an all-time high of the mid-2017 price implosion.

The data above signifies that the futures trading activity has declined severely over the last one year since reaching a peak in the summer of 2018. The introduction of several new bitcoin platforms like Bakkt, Nasdaq and CoinFLEX, each looking to forward to launch future bitcoin products in the coming months, may improve this metric however.

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