Bitcoin Futures: Around 30 to 35 percent volume comes from outside the United States

Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index Products and Alternative Investments, and John Deters, Head of Strategies and Multi-Asset Solutions at Cboe Global Markets, spoke about the people currently trading in Bitcoin Futures market and the time period in which they usually tend to trade. The discussion took place in the recent FIA Boca 2019 event on ‘Cryptocurrencies and Derivatives: The Battle for Dominance’.

When asked about CME’s trade across the world, Tim McCourt stated that around 30% to 35% of their Bitcoin futures volume came from outside the United States. This, according to him, is above the wide exchange average at the CME group. He said,

“And when you look at it at the time of the day, what’s interesting to know is about 50% of our volumes occur in the Bitcoins futures contract before the U.S traditional cash equities market open.”

He went on to say that the balance in trade is “almost” split among the non-US and US users in terms of volume, adding that it is a unique characteristic of the product. He further stated that this “speaks for the global demand and interest in Bitcoin”.

This was followed by John Deters discussing whether there was a similar trend at CBOE markets. He stated that the trend was indeed “very similar” in CBOE’s markets as well, adding that it is one of the things they have learned since the launch of their futures market. He further stated that the market participants were diverse, with a significant number coming from Asia.

The Head of Strategies and Multi-Asset Solutions at CBOE Global Markets said,

“To think about brand new futures product, really first in the U.S but kind of first in the world that are truly regulated marketplace and there were a lot of unknowns among them being who would participate from what parts of the world, what types of market participants would move first, which would be second movers.”

Furthermore, he also spoke about institutional interest. He said:

“To be candid there are still quite a few large-size institutions who are connected and ready to trade but dont and I think that’s just the factor of relative immaturity of the product.”

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