CME Group Bitcoin Futures Reports Record Trading Volume on Thursday
In the tweet, CME says that the “all-time high volume” came in at 22.5 contracts (equivalent to 112.7K Bitcoin), which overtook the previous record of 18.3 contracts (equivalent to 64.3K Bitcoin) on February 19th of this year.
According to their website, CME Bitcoin Futures launched on December 17th, 2017 and commenced trading the next day. Some in the crypto community have blamed Bitcoin Futures for the downturn in Bitcoin’s price shortly after the futures launched. (Bitcoin reached its current all-time high price of $19,783.21 on December 20th, 2017.) A quick Google search on the theory yields a number of articles claiming some version of the notion that Futures allow people and institutions with significant means to manipulate the market without actually buying, selling, or even holding any Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin futures are effectively contracts that require one party to sell Bitcoin to another party at a given price sometime in the future, investors can trade Bitcoin without actually owning any. In one sense, this is a positive, as it allows people in countries where Bitcoin is banned to have some exposure to the market. However, it also allows people with a lot of money the ability to move the market without actually participating in the trading of the underlying asset, opening the door for market manipulation.
On their Twitter account, the CME Group calls itself “the world’s most diverse financial marketplace,” comprised of CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange), CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade), NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange), COMEX (Commodity Exchange), and KCBT (Kansas City Board of Trade).
Last month, a Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioner divulged that US regulators are actively working to approve a variety of crypto-related applications, including Bitcoin futures offered by the much-hyped institutional trading platform Bakkt.