Crypto derivatives market saw its busiest trading day of 2020 on Tuesday

Quick Take

  • The crypto derivatives market saw its busiest trading day on Tuesday
  • Total trading volumes of futures and options up by 9% for BTC and 16% for ETH
  • A maturing market and the launch of CME BTC options likely contributed to the surge, said market participants. 

Cryptocurrency derivatives trading struck its highest trading volumes of 2020 on Tuesday, while bitcoin jumped by 9% and ether by 16%, per data compiled by Skew.

For Bitcoin futures contracts, roughly $25 billion traded hands during the single day, making Jan. 14 the busiest session since Oct. 26. Meanwhile, open interest on bitcoin futures was up by 16% to $3.5 billion, with cryptocurrency exchanges OKEx and BitMEX seeing the largest volumes. 

Source: Skew

The BTC options market also experienced its best day since June 26, with Deribit taking up a lion share of the overall trading volumes while LedgerX and CME led the U.S. market. 

Source: Skew

A more significant surge was observed in ether, with futures trading volumes hitting $3 billion and tripling the volume from the previous day.

ETH options, on the other hand, jumped to five times the volume of the day before. 


Source: Skew

Source: Skew

The heightened interest in crypto derivatives is likely a combined effect of CME's rollout BTC options trading on Monday and the market becoming more institutionalized, several market observers contended.

"The CME got a decent launch on day one on Monday, and that got a lot of people interested from the traditional market side," Skew CEO Emmanuel Goh told The Block. 

"For me, it’s a sign that the market gets more mature and sophisticated," wrote Deribit COO Marius Jansen in a message to The Block. "And the price surge: inevitable when more and more players are entering the market, we continue to see more interest from new parties in Bitcoin. Eventually, you can see that in the price action as well." 

2020 will be a busy year for the crypto derivatives market, as both U.S.-focused platforms like CME and Bakkt and offshore exchanges like BitMEX, Deribit, and OKEx compete for market share.

"For now, the U.S. and the offshore markets co-exist. I think the options market may be one of the first products where the regulated offerings are leading... The options market on the offshore side hasn't been as big and as developed as on the futures side," said Goh. 

Meanwhile, BTC price has been on an upward strike, increasing by 7% over the past 7 days. 

Update: An earlier version of this story stated that OKEx and Bitfinex had the largest BTC futures open interest volumes on Jan. 14. It has since been updated to reflect that OKEx and BitMEX had the largest volumes. 

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.