It’s only been a week, but already CME Bitcoin options are looking up. 

Trading volume for Bitcoin option contracts on the CME Group’s exchange kicked off at just 55 contracts on day one last Monday, January 13—the equivalent of about $2.37 million.  But by the end of the week, options trading more than doubled to 122 contracts—roughly $5.27 million in volume.

The figures jibe with what CME’s global head of equity index Tim McCourt previously described as a “high demand” for such products from investors. “We’re certainly excited to see what happens. Folks are excited about it and we’re happy to bring this new risk management tool to the market,” McCourt told Decrypt in November.


Those numbers are even more impressive when compared to its institutional crypto competitor Bakkt, the Bitcoin trading platform backed by the owners of the New York Stock Exchange.

CME Group was beaten to the Bitcoin-options punch by Bakkt, which released bitcoin options trading and cash-settled bitcoin futures in December, roughly one month before CME’s options became active. Still, trading volume for Bitcoin options on Bakkt is still a fraction of that on CME, according to data from Skew Analytics.

The disparity is even greater when comparing Bitcoin futures contracts. For example, earlier this month, Bakkt recorded one of its best trading days in some time on January 7, with 4,823 contracts traded worth approximately $40.8 million. That same day CME saw just over 17,000 futures traded, or about $141 million in volume.

Bakkt broke its previous all-time high in volume on December 18, but even then that only amounted to roughly 6,600 contracts.

Nevertheless, the growing interest in CME’s offerings appears to coincide with a general uptick in the crypto market, with the price of Bitcoin rebounding since early January and now once again approaching the $9,000 per coin mark. How long before Bakkt catches up?


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