The information in the report seems to confirm what many in the industry already believed to be true.
A new report from investment firm Wilshire Phoenix states that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s, or CME’s, cash-settled Bitcoin futures trading products affect the price of Crypto Cash even though they don’t directly involve actual Bitcoin (BTC).
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„Wilshire Phoenix’s findings indicate that CME’s Bitcoin Futures contribute more to price discovery than its related spot markets,“ says the October 14 Wilshire Phoenix report, adding:
„A leading futures market suggests a strong base of traders who can trade in these markets for many reasons, such as trust in the trading venue and lower latency.
Price discovery essentially refers to how each actual Bitcoin is valued in the market, its current market rate or the spot price. Wilshire’s report essentially found that these WEC products affect the price of BTC more than the actual BTC itself, which is traded on conventional cryptomoney exchanges.
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Launched in December 2017, CME’s Bitcoin futures do not handle Bitcoin cash. Participants trade contracts that track the price of Bitcoin in the crypto markets, paying those contracts in US dollars at maturity. These contracts are paid according to a price index called the „CME CF BRR“, which comprises a BTC price based on the values seen on various spot cryptomoney exchanges, called constituent exchanges. CME futures products have captured considerable interest in the years since their launch.
Although CME Bitcoin futures are traded in cash only, cryptomoney traders and participants pay attention to the action of their price, particularly to the gaps in the charts that traders popularly refer to as „CME gaps.
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These gaps occur when the BTC Spot opens the next trading day above or below the previous day’s close, based on BTC’s 24-hour spot schedule, compared to the hours set by CME for trading products. The Bitcoin spot price is known to return to any remaining gaps in the price chart.
A highlight of the report is that CME handles more total volume than any spot exchange included in its BRR CF, the report detailed, adding, „This also facilitates price discovery in the futures market. In addition, participants in CME’s Bitcoin futures trade significantly larger positions on average:
„A relative number of small transactions in a given market is often statistically insignificant for price discovery purposes. The average size of trades on the CME futures market facilitates its price discovery leadership over the Constituent Exchanges.
The report also noted the presence of other conventional futures markets that affect the spot prices of other asset classes, so these findings are not uncommon.
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„There are 85 institutions holding open positions in Bitcoin futures, this represents a similar number to other GCE futures in the major currency markets, such as the Swiss franc, the US dollar index and federal funds,“ Wilshire Phoenix partner and co-author of the report, Alexander Chang, told Cointelegraph.