Crypto Insights | January 2023

  • 23 Jan 2023
  • By CME Group

2022 highlights: Liquidity, volatility, and new product innovations drove growth in CME Group cryptocurrency market

CME Group’s suite of trusted Cryptocurrency futures and options (F&O) experienced record growth in 2022, driven by rising client demand for transparent and reliable products and new product introductions. In 2022, five new F&O contracts were introduced while the listing cycle was extended to include 4 additional quarterly contracts, providing clients with greater flexibility and choice to manage cryptocurrency price risk or gain exposure.  Additionally, 40 new reference rates and real-time indices were introduced providing participants price discovery for top cryptocurrencies. While volatility returned to the cryptocurrency market throughout 2022, CME Group remained a safe haven for investors and clients have continued to utilize the efficient risk transfer and price transparency, offered by Bitcoin and Ether futures and options, resulting in numerous records throughout the year.

Recent records:

  • Cryptocurrency futures and options reached an ADV of 53.1K and average daily OI of 141K contracts in 2022. There was a single day volume record of 207K contracts on November 8.
  • Bitcoin futures (BTC) ADV reached 10.7K contracts and average daily OI reached 12.9K contracts (+31% vs. 2021). BTC had a single day OI record of 19.5K on December 21.
  • Ether futures (ETH) 2022 ADV was a record 6.3K contracts (+61% vs. 2021) with a single day trading record of 31.1K contracts on November 8. Q4-22 average daily OI was a record 5K (+20% vs. Q3 2022). 
  • Micro Ether futures traded a record 19.6K contracts ADV and OI averaged 42.4K in 2022.
  • CME Group Cryptocurrency futures combined Large Open Interest Holders (LOIH) reached a record 439 the week of November 22. 

Source: CME Group

What’s new? Greater price transparency across nine more tokens

In Q4, the cryptocurrency product suite added Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices in addition to constituent exchange enhancements. 

Regulated, non-tradable CME Group CF Cryptocurrency Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices, developed in partnership with CF Benchmarks, were expanded to include the following:

  • Live on October 31: Avalanche, Filecoin, and Tezos. Together with offerings for bitcoin, ether, and 14 other available cryptocurrencies, CME Group CF Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices capture around 92% of the investable cryptocurrency market capitalization. 
  • Live December 19: DeFi tokens Aave, Curve, and Synthetix. CME Group CF DeFi benchmarks, available on Aave, Curve, Synthetix, as well as Uniswap, cover four of the largest and most relevant DeFi token assets. The associated protocols are responsible for over $11B of Total Value Locked (TVL).*
  • Coming January 30: CME Group CF Cryptocurrency Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices will include three new Metaverse tokens. Access transparent pricing on Axie Infinity, Chiliz, and Decentraland.

The expanded offering is designed to bring more confidence and transparency to cryptocurrency trading.


Introducing TAS: A new way to trade Bitcoin and Micro Bitcoin futures

CME Group will introduce Trade at Settlement (TAS) on Bitcoin and Micro Bitcoin futures beginning February 6, pending regulatory approval, to provide market participants greater transparency and flexibility to manage settlement price uncertainty.

Q4 cryptocurrency trading highlights

Cryptocurrency products saw continued growth in 2022 despite turbulence in the market. Clients turned to our regulated marketplace offering transparency and price discovery to efficiently transfer risk throughout the year.

Ether futures (ETH) traded a record 31.1K contracts on November 8 and nearly 2.5M total contracts (123M equivalent ether) since launch over a year ago. LOIH reached a record 76 the week of November 22 and averaged a record 63 throughout the quarter.

Micro Ether futures (MET) Q4 2022 ADV was 15.8K contracts and OI averaged 35.6K contracts. The futures provide a precise, cost-effective tool to manage ether risk. Since launch in December 2021, over 5.1M contracts have traded.

Bitcoin futures (BTC) institutional interest continued to increase amid the market volatility throughout Q4. Q4 ADV was over 11.7K, with a record 48.6K contracts traded on November 8. Open interest averaged a record 15.4K, with a single day record 19.5K contracts on November 21. LOIH has averaged a record 101 in Q4 2022, with a record 114 the week of November 22.

Micro Bitcoin futures (MBT) had another successful quarter, with an OI averaging 19.5K contracts, over 7.4M contracts have traded since launch. A record 150 LOIH occurred the week of November 16.

Bitcoin Euro and Ether Euro futures were launched in Q3, enabling traders to access futures on Euro-denominated cryptocurrencies, the second highest-traded fiat behind USD. The contracts match their USD-denominated counterparts at 5 bitcoin or 50 ether per contract providing access to a second currency pair. Take advantage of greater transparency and price discovery to manage bitcoin euro and ether euro price risk.

Source: CME Group

All data accurate of December 31, 2022, unless otherwise indicated.


Cryptocurrency futures and options
ADV: 46.7K contracts
Open interest: 153.4K contracts



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Case Study: Hedging Bitcoin price risk with Micro Cryptocurrency options

See how Micro Bitcoin and Micro Ether options can both be effective risk management tools to hedge physical cryptocurrency exposure during periods of market uncertainty.

Options update

Micro Cryptocurrency options: Micro Bitcoin and Micro Ether options are right-sized at 1/10 of their respective coins. Over 427K total contracts have traded.

Ether options: Ether options are designed to provide more versatility for managing ether price risk and to enhance your cryptocurrency trading strategies. Over 1.4K trades have occurred since launch.