As Bitcoin (BTC), the flagship cryptocurrency, closed out January 2020 with its strongest performance in the past seven years, open interest on Bakkt surged to yet another all-time high on January 31 for physically-settled BTC futures contracts. Meanwhile, institutional traders on the CME Group prepared to position themselves for even greater highs.
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-owned Bakkt’s physically-settled Bitcoin futures contracts registered a new record of $11.6 million in open interest, which is up a substantial 114% in a week, data from the Bakkt Volume Bot confirms.
Following an extended uptrend in Bitcoin and larger crypto market prices, this increase in open interest suggests that new buyers might be entering the digital asset market and acquiring long contracts, which indicates that the nascent crypto market might see even higher prices.
Cryptocurrency bulls have been controlling the Bitcoin (BTC) market since December 18, 2019, when the leading digital currency began to end its months-long decline by recovering from a low of around $6,470 to about $9,300 at the time of writing. It’s around this time that open interest on the Bakkt BTC futures contract recorded a new all-time high of about $7.02 million, which is about 40% lower than present levels.
The CME cash-settled BTC futures contract, which is by far the world’s largest regulated Bitcoin futures market in terms of trading volume, has also recorded its largest trading volumes in recent months. The CME has also experienced high levels of open interest. CME traders seem to anticipate a higher Bitcoin price, available data suggests.
On January 30, the CME reportedly settled $846 million worth of futures contracts, which was only one day before the January contract’s final trading day. The month of January 2020 closed with 4,611 BTC futures contracts in open interest, which is close to CME’s all-time-high monthly close of 5,252 contracts (set in July of last year).