The crypto futures market is officially having a moment! Currently, cryptocurrency futures trading is making headlines for all the right reasons. Records are being smashed left, right, and center, in turn driving new players to enter the current futures market to capture a piece of the action. Here, we round up all the latest news and reports that indicate crypto futures are whipping up a storm right now.
1. BitMEX Had a Record Day
On 26th June, the BitMEX Twitter account released the news that it had hit an all-time record for futures trading on its exchange, with daily volume across all products exceeding $16 billion.
Breaking it down, BitMEX had seen over $13bn traded on its XBT/USD market, and over $1bn in open interest on XBT/USD. This news came the same day that Bitcoin topped $13,000 for the first time in nearly 18 months.
BitMEX may be the current king of the crypto futures market, but it isn’t invincible. Back in March, OKEx outstripped BitMEX on a single day’s trading, demonstrating that the competition for crypto futures trading is getting much hotter in 2019.
2. CME Had Two Record Months
Looking at the latest numbers from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), institutional interest in Bitcoin futures is at an all-time high. In May, the CME reported that it had broken its own monthly record, but in June, it was already broken again.
An article on Coindesk showed that more than 6,000 contracts were in open interest towards the end of June.
The Coindesk piece speculated that the increase in institutional trading was likely due to Facebook’s announcement about its plans for the Libra cryptocurrency. This could be the case; however, it also seems likely that the spike in the price of BTC could be luring in institutional money. Either way, where institutional investors go, retail investors are expected to follow, so we at Digitex welcome the news!
3. Kraken Expands Its Footprint
Kraken acquired UK-based derivatives exchange CryptoFacilities for $100 million earlier this year, causing a surge of trading on the platform. In March, CryptoFacilities reported that it hit close to $1 billion in trading during that month across its portfolio of five products. The exchange also said that it had increased its user base by a factor of four.
Now, it seems that Kraken has further plans for expansion. The U.S. exchange recently completed a private equity sale, raising $13.5 million from more than 2,250 investors, which it plans to use to fund yet more new acquisitions. Kraken hopes this additional financing will push its valuation up past the $4 billion mark.
4. Binance to Enable Futures Trading
At the Asia Blockchain Summit in Taipei earlier this week, Binance CEO Changing Zhao (CZ) was the keynote speaker. During his speech, he announced plans for his exchange to roll out a new futures trading platform. This had been heavily speculated on after Binance launched a margin trading feature on its platform back in May this year.
Although there is no release date yet provided, Binance confirmed that testing will begin from 16th July. The initial launch will feature only one futures contract for BTC/USDT, with leverage of up to 20x. It’s not yet clear if Binance will charge fees for futures trading in line with its existing fee structure, or if it will apply a new fee model.
5. Bakkt is Back!
Remember Bakkt? The regulated Bitcoin futures trading platform for institutional investors that was going to launch, then seemingly just disappeared off the radar? Well, parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which also runs the New York Stock Exchange, has finally confirmed that it will go ahead. At least, it has announced that it will commence testing from 22nd July.
The blog post containing the announcement made several comparisons with the moon landings, which is perhaps indicative of the work involved in getting the U.S. regulators to sign off on its plans.
Unlike the CME which settles its Bitcoin futures contracts in cash, Bakkt will be the first to offer physically settled futures in BTC. Given the surge in Bitcoin futures at the CME in the last few months, ICE is likely to have high hopes for a stellar launch.
The Crypto Futures Market Boom Is Good News for Digitex
All of this is excellent news for Digitex – yes, even the fact that the mighty Binance is making its futures debut. It’s clear that there’s a high demand from traders for a competitive futures offering.
Our zero-commission trading model, non-custodial accounts, and the opportunity for our users to become part of the DigiDAO will give us the edge to compete in a buzzing futures market. Bring it on!