CME Group, the leading institution for trading bitcoin futures, has surpassed Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, in terms of BTC futures trading. This occurrence, although rare, is considered a positive sign of growing institutional interest in the crypto market.
CME is often regarded as the go-to exchange for professionals, while Binance and other similar platforms cater to a more casual audience. According to CoinDesk’s markets expert Omkar Godbole, CME is seen as a proxy for institutional activity in the crypto space.
The increased interest in CME futures could be attributed to the significant price rally of bitcoin this year. Institutions may want to capitalize on the potential gains or speculate on the possibility of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) being listed by the end of the year or the upcoming Bitcoin halving event next year.
Futures contracts serve as a hedge against future price movements, allowing buyers to purchase bitcoin at a predetermined price at a later date. Many believe that bitcoin still has room for growth, with Bitwise Chief Investment Officer Matt Hougan suggesting that the hype around bitcoin ETFs is not fully priced in yet.
The question of whether the Bitcoin halving event is priced in remains uncertain. While some argue that the reduction in the number of new bitcoins released into circulation will drive up the price, others question the efficiency of crypto markets and the validity of the Efficient Markets theory.
Interestingly, Godbole notes that when open interest in bitcoin futures is growing on CME, it often signals a potential drop in bitcoin’s price. However, this is not a definitive rule, but rather an observable trend following previous instances of CME surpassing Binance in trading volume.
The decline in Binance’s market share of futures contracts compared to CME can be attributed to the exchange’s legal issues in the United States and the European Union. Additionally, there are differences in the types of derivatives traded on CME and Binance, with CME attracting more bullish bets and Binance experiencing a high amount of open shorts that were liquidated during the recent price rally.
In conclusion, the flippening of CME surpassing Binance in BTC futures trading indicates growing institutional interest in the crypto market. However, the future price of bitcoin and the involvement of institutions remain uncertain. This article is an excerpt from The Node newsletter.
Correction (November 10, 2023 – 22:40 UTC): The open interest in CME’s bitcoin futures has surpassed Binance, not the trading volumes. This correction applies to the headline and the entire article.