CBOE halts Bitcoin futures, considering conceding market to CME

In a press release from CBOE, the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) has decided to not add a Bitcoin (XBT) futures contract for March. The exchange is considering how it should approach the space with respect to its digital asset derivatives trading. According to the release, the CFE "does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading." The remaining futures listed on the exchange will continue to trade, with the last month contract currently for June expiration.

The move comes at time when Bitcoin trading volumes have seen more than 80% declines since early 2018, with CBOE XBT products failing to generate more than $1B in notional trading volume since May 2018. The product from CBOE consistently generated less than half the volume that competitor CME Group's Bitcoin futures generated.

CME Bitcoin futures set a new record for volume traded in a single day with over 18,300 contracts traded, equivalent to ~91,690 BTC or ~$360 million in notional value (1 BTC contract = 5 BTC). The volume was 25% greater than the prior daily volume record set in November. It’s not just daily one off volume that’s trending up either, as 1Q19 volumes through February are running at a 40% Y/Y clip, and is on track to be the highest CME bitcoin futures volume quarter since the product launched at the end of 2017.