Bitcoin futures open interest hits new ATH as traders flock to derivatives

Traders are racing to speculate on Bitcoin in the derivatives markets, with open interest in BTC futures approaching $20 billion for the first time.

With BTC again edging toward all-time highs, a large volume of money is flowing into the Bitcoin derivatives markets.

According to crypto market data aggregator Glassnode, outstanding futures contracts pushed into new all-time highs on March 11, with open interest across exchanges approaching $20 billion.

More capital is flowing into the derivatives markets, as the amount of outstanding #Bitcoin futures contracts reaches another ATH.

Open interest across major exchanges is currently sitting at the verge of the $20B mark.


— glassnode (@glassnode) March 11, 2021

Options have also surged to see record volumes in 2021, with Derebit now regularly hosting more than $1 billion worth of daily trade.

According to Binance-owned CoinMarketCap, the three-largest centralized derivatives exchanges — Binance, Huobi Global, and ByBit — represent more than $100 billion in combined daily trade. Binance alone is $57 billion. The next ten highest-ranked exchanges facilitated more than $65 billion in trade over the past 24 hours.

However, despite the surging volumes, some decentralized derivatives exchanges appear to be struggling to attract the momentum of their centralized counterparts.

Skyrocketing Ethereum fees appear to have slowed the growth of decentralized options, with the complicated smart contract executions required to interact with some Ethereum-based protocols resulting in gas prices of more than $1,000.

Similarly record fees also appear to have deterred traders from Ethereum-powered decentralized futures, with daily volume on dYdX plummeting from tens of billions in January to roughly $100 million over the past week.

Daily volume on dYdX: Nomics

Recent liquidity issues on the popular on-chain options trading protocol Hegic are also impacting Etherum’s decentralized option markets.

On March 11, Ribbon Finance founder Julian Koh announced the protocol’s “Strangle” product had been temporarily disabled due to there being “no liquidity in the Hegic pools.” Koh also noted disruptions to Ribbon’s price feed resulting from ongoing upgrades to DeFi options protocol Opyn.

On Discord, Ribbon’s founder noted the team is currently working on integrating with fellow DeFi options protocol, Charm Finance, “as a new liquidity source to solve the liquidity issue.”

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