September 30, 2019, 8:58PM EDT
• 5 min read

3Q19 CME Bitcoin Futures Analysis: Outside July spike, volumes and traders remain relatively flat

Quick Take

  • Estimated notional value of open interest CFTC regulated bitcoin futures (combined CME, CBOE, and Bakkt historical values) has surged more than 138% this year, vs. a 120% increase in the price of bitcoin. Notional value of average open interest in the quarter increased ~65% since 2Q, however the ending value last week is relatively flat with the end of June
  • There are roughly the same number of reportable traders in 3Q as there were in 2Q (~50)
  • While the concentration of total outstanding interest among the top four largest short-traders still remains high (~40%), the concentration has continued to soften from last quarter’s highs of +75%
  • On the long side, hedge funds have made up as much as 75% of total open interest (January 2019), however they’re now in parity with non-reporting traders (the small accounts) which now both make up ~40% of total long open interest.
  • Outside of the week bitcoin topped $13,000 in July, hedge-funds have the largest total net short position since June of 2018

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