The operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) announced an increase in the popularity of its bitcoin futures: in the third quarter, the number of open contracts increased by 61% compared to the same period last year.
Open interest (the number of outstanding positions) increased to 4,629 contracts, compared to 2,873 in the third quarter of 2018, CoinDesk reports. Despite a 25% decline in bitcoin prices in the third quarter of the year, demand for CME BTC futures fell by only 1% compared to the level of the second quarter.
The average daily sales of contracts over the past three months amounted to 5534, which is 10% more than a year earlier. According to the exchange, this is equivalent to 27,670 BTC or $ 289 million.
“The institutional flow remained strong: 454 new accounts were added, compared to 231 in the third quarter of 2018,” the CME Group said.
The number of outstanding positions opened by large players (from 25 BTC and above) grew in the third quarter to 47 from 34 a year earlier.
About 50% of the CME futures trade in bitcoin in the third quarter was accounted for outside the United States: 26% in the Asia-Pacific region and 21% in Europe and the Middle East.
Recall that earlier in the CME Group announced the launch of another bitcoin derivative – options based on BTC futures. Tim McCourt, managing director of the company, said that they expect high demand for new products from Asian and European traders.