The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group has released data showing that open interest in Bitcoin futures is rising, as per an official Twitter post on June 18.

Interest in BTC futures over time: https://twitter.com/CMEGroup/status/1141015074062110721

According to CME, bitcoin (BTC) open interest spiked on June 17 with an all-time high of 5,311 contracts totalling 26,555 BTC, or approximately $246 million at press time.

Futures are standardized contracts that bind a party to buying or selling some asset at a predetermined date. Notably, the CME group also remarked in the Twitter post that BTC futures appears to be gaining popularity with institutional investors.

Major United States bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM) executive Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou has also recently commented in a report on the state of bitcoin, saying that BTC markets appear to be increasingly influenced by institutional investors.

While CME is noticing increased interest and positions, the Cboe Global Markets settled its last bitcoin futures contracts at 3 p.m. Chicago time today. 

Many have speculated that Facebook’s recent cryptocurrency announcement will propel markets forward. Yesterday the social media giant released the white paper for its own stablecoin, Libra, which financial analyst Tom Lee says is evidence of mainstream interest in crypto.

BTC is currently trading around $9,290, up 2.55% on the day.

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