The Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) has announced that it is dropping any new bitcoin futures contracts this month. The decision may have been necessitated by low trading volumes. Cboe indicated that its CFE futures platform was currently pondering its position on cryptocurrency derivatives trading.
Cboe Considers Future of Bitcoin Futures
In a statement on March 14, the exchange revealed: “CFE is not adding a Cboe Bitcoin (USD) (“XBT”) futures contract for trading in March 2019. CFE is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading. While it considers its next steps, CFE does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading.”
Current bitcoin futures contracts remain available for trading until June when they expire. The Cboe futures were greeted with wild enthusiasm when they first entered the market in December 2017, when BTC prices were at their highest. Together with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) bitcoin futures, which launched around the same time, the instruments were viewed as major stepping stones into the mainstream, key to attracting institutional capital into the cryptocurrency market.
However, the events that followed in the ensuing months did not inspire a lot of confidence, as XBT trading volumes nosedived, in part due to the 2018 sustained market downturn.
According to research company Tradeblock, XBT has been losing ground to bitcoin futures from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange whose volumes have dwarfed XBT’s in recent months despite starting on an equal footing. Overall, bitcoin futures trading volume has fallen since reaching a peak in the summer of 2018.