CME Bitcoin options doubles Bakkt’s volume on its first day


The Chicago based CME Group traded 54 options on Bitcoin Futures on its first day today – but both were trounced by an upstart.

With each contract traded on CME equaling 5 Bitcoin, that brings the total to 270 Bitcoin which equates to around $2.18 million.

That’s significantly higher than the $1.1 million volume that its major, institutional investor focused, US regulated competitor Bakkt has seen over the past five days.

And it’s exponentially more than the Intercontinental Exchange owned Bakkt’s tiny volume on its first day offering Bitcoin options on December 9 last year.

CME trounced by Binance backed platform

However CME’s volume was itself put into the shade a crypto native platform called FTX which launched Bitcoin options on January 12.

The Binance backed platform hit $1 million in volume within just two hours of launching and finished up trading 2000 contracts by the end of the first day (around $16.7 million worth).

Its 24 hour volume today is 2405 BTC. The platform launched in May 2019 and its Bitcoin options are not currently available to US investors.

Options provide the ability, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a certain amount of coins within a set time period.

JP Morgan has high hopes for CME Bitcoin options

In an analysis published on January 10 America’s largest bank JP Morgan said that while volumes on Bakkt have been “rather small” it believed CME’s new offering could be a game changer.

The analyst pointed to a surge in open interest on for CME’s Bitcoin Futures – which is currently at seven month highs – as reflecting anticipation for the new product

“This unusually strong activity over the past few days likely reflects the high anticipation among market participants of the option contract.”

It’s a marathon not a sprint

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike McGlone said that the day one volumes might well prove irrelevant in the grand scheme of thing with the weeks and months more material.

But he said it was a positive sign for the health of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

“The launch of listed options on futures is a significant step in the direction of increasing exposure to Bitcoin,” McGlone said.

“Options are only launched and tradable on a liquid underlying and the trend in BTC futures on the CME is increasing volume and open interest.”

Andrew Fenton

Contact: Andrew Fenton is an Australian freelance journalist and editor. He’s been a national entertainment writer for News Corp, film journalist for The Advertiser and a staff writer on SA Weekend and The Melbourne Weekly. Andrew's work has appeared pretty much everywhere including CNN International,, Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph & Courier Mail, Triple J, 3AW, Rendezview, and Intrepid's The Journal. DISCLOSURE: Andrew's cryptocurrency holdings include BTC, VET, ETH, SNX TRAC, ZEN, XRP, WTC, and TRX.

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