Open interest in CME bitcoin futures hits an all-time high of $724 million

Open interest in CME Group's cash-settled bitcoin futures has hit an all-time high of $724 million amid bitcoin's price rise.

The spike in open interest, or the value of outstanding derivative contracts that are yet to be settled, suggests that more money is flowing in the market and traders are expecting a near-term rise in bitcoin's volatility.

The previous all-time high open interest was around $532 million, which was recorded in May.

Source: Skew, The Block Research

While open interest is soaring, volumes have been low. The average daily trading volume in CME's bitcoin futures has been around $276 million so far this month as compared to $285 million last month. However, yesterday, the volume shot up to $1.33 billion given the rise in bitcoin's price, as can be seen from the chart above. 

Yesterday, Bakkt also reported the largest single-day volumes for its physically-settled bitcoin futures, at around $114 million, which is 12 times lower than CME's volume. 

CME launched its bitcoin futures in 2017, and it is currently the only regulated cash-settled offering in the U.S.  Earlier this year, the exchange also began bitcoin options trading.