Bitcoin [BTC] Futures were thought to be a snippet of the overarching cryptocurrency market, though meager in comparison to the larger spot market. A recent report from Bitwise Asset Management, the crypto-centric investment firm has stated otherwise.
In a March 20 report presented to the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC], Bitwise analyzed the Chicago Mercantile Exchange [CME], and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, with ten prominent cryptocurrency exchanges’ in terms of their trade volume.
Prior to shedding light on their Futures versus Spot findings, it must be noted that the report revealed that 95 percent of the trading volume of unregulated exchanges were seemingly “fake and/or non-economic wash trading”.
Taking into account this disparity, the percentage of futures volume to their spot equivalent increases from 1.51 percent to 33.33 percent. Reported Spot volume totaled $6 billion, but after removing the “suspicious exchanges”, the actual volume recorded dropped to $273 million, in comparison to the futures market volume of $91 million.
Furthermore, the increase in futures’ volume as a percentage of the spot market has been steadily increasing. From November 2018 to January 2019, the futures market was just over 15 percent, and almost doubled in February 2019 to 33 percent. Since the Futures contracts were approved in December 2017, only on two occasions did the Futures volume, in comparison to the Spot market, shoot above 20 percent; this was in May and August 2018.
In terms of their stand-alone trade volume, the CME and the CBOE are in good stead against the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges. The daily volume the CME, which brings in $84.82 million, ranks second behind Binance’s $110.5 million and ahead of Bitfinex, which records $38.06 million in daily trade volume.
The CBOE also fairs well, taking the ninth spot on the ladder, ringing in $6.12 million in daily trade volume. Gemini takes the eight spot with $8.11 million and itBit caps off the top-10 with $5.58 million in daily volume. Notable, among the top-12, eight exchanges are registered within the United States.
Despite the CBOE’s comparative success against the spot exchanges’, it has not been performing well against its cross-town rival, the CME. This slump forced the CBOE to delist their Bitcoin Futures [XBT] for March 2019. However, the XBT futures that are yet to expire later in the year will not be off-loaded prematurely.
Bitwise also points out that the CME Futures Price tracks the Global Spot Price based on an arbitrage model. Given below is a chart attesting the same:
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