Bitcoin futures trading activity at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) increased by 93 percent in the second quarter over the first quarter of 2018, the company revealed in a tweet July 20.

CME Group launched Bitcoin futures trading on December 18, 2017, shortly after the launch of trading by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) on December 10.

Futures are a standardized contract that enables an investor to buy or sell a particular asset at a specific price at a future date in a predetermined quality and quantity.

CME also stated that the rate of open interest (OI) or the number of open contracts on Bitcoin futures has exceeded 2,400, which amounted to 58 percent increase in Q1.

Notably, Bitcoin’s price dropped nearly 10% over the same period, indicating investor interest is not necessarily pegged to the current price of the highly volatile digital asset. This is likely due to the fact that investors are able to take out short contracts on Bitcoin, one of the only ways to bet against the crypto markets.

Bitcoin futures are regulated by the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) with the latter together with the U.S. DoJ initiating investigation whether the market manipulation has been changing cryptocurrency prices between the future contracts and Bitcoin prices.

Back in May, CME Group announced new Ethereum price products that will provide users with an access to a reference rate and a real-time pricing index for the world’s second-largest digital currency.

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