Bitcoin Futures off-loaded by CBOE; competitor CME looks to capture market

The Chicago Board Options Exchange [CBOE] decided not to list any Bitcoin [BTC] futures for trading in March 2018. It is speculated that the competing Chicago Mercantile Exchange [CME] will now see this as an opportunity to seize the digital asset-derivatives market.

In a March 14 statement, detailing the new products added to the CBOE Futures Exchange, the exchange stated that Bitcoin derivative contracts will not be a part of their offerings this month. The statement read,

“CFE is not adding a Cboe Bitcoin (USD) (“XBT”) futures contract for trading in March 2019. CFE is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading.”

Presently, three Bitcoin Futures are trading on the CBOE, XBTJ19, XBTK19, and XBTM19, with expiration in April, May, and June, respectively. The exchange stated that while additional XBT contracts will not be listed, the ones on the market will not be pulled out prematurely.

The statement added,

“While it considers its next steps, CFE does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading. Currently listed XBT futures contracts remain available for trading.”

In December 2017, when the two aforementioned exchanges announced their intention to launch derivative contracts tied to the top cryptocurrency, the crypto-market boomed. Bitcoin recorded its highest price of $19,800, and the collective market rose to $830 billion, following the introduction of Futures.

Given the elasticity of Bitcoin’s price to the actions of the CBOE, the top cryptocurrency was not affected by this delisting. Bitcoin gained against the US dollar by 0.5 percent, and was trading at over $3,900, with the coin-market holding firm at $135 billion.

CBOE has been showing consistently poor Bitcoin trading volumes, compared to the CME. When the contracts were first launched in 2017, barring December, the CME has been ahead of the CBOE with respect to BTC Futures trading volume.

Mid-way through 2018, Bitcoin trading on CME was six times ahead of CBOE BTC futures trading, with the difference only looking to rise. Coinalyze, a crypto-research service, stated that in August 2018 alone, the CME daily BTC futures volumes had averages in excess of 30,000 and 5,000 on CBOE.

Source: Trade Block

The crypto community expected CBOE to drop out of the BTC futures race, and was speculating whether this would be an indication of the “Bitcoin-bottom”.

Mike Dudas, the CEO, and founder of TheBlockCrypto said,

““$XBT has been getting *crushed* on volume by CME’s bitcoin future. No surprised that @CBOE is throwing up the white flag.”

Johnny Lingo Music mulled the reason behind CME’s surge. He said,

“Because CME has been offering an incentive/discount all of 2018 to get traders into it. However, this expired last month Feb., so will be interesting how the volume plays out over next few months”

MonoBoly stated,

“The CBOE capitulating is one of the most trend reversal things I’ve ever heard, and if it hasn’t happened already the bottom is very close to in. /vague #bitcoin tweet”

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