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CME bitcoin futures volume hits record high as prices rebound

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The sudden resurgence in bitcoin prices this month is also providing a boost for the futures market, with CME Group Inc contract trading volumes for the largest cryptocurrency hitting a record high.

[HONG KONG] The sudden resurgence in bitcoin prices this month is also providing a boost for the futures market, with CME Group Inc contract trading volumes for the largest cryptocurrency hitting a record high.

CME bitcoin futures hit a record 22,542 contracts traded on April 4, equivalent to 112,710 bitcoin with a notional value of US$546 million, according to a release from the derivatives exchange operator. A majority of the trading volume on that day came in Asia hours with 12,634 contracts traded, CME said.

The increased trading came just after bitcoin unexpectedly surged almost 30 per cent over the two previous trading days after months of relative inactivity, according to consolidated Bloomberg pricing. Bitcoin was up 0.5 per cent at US$5,279 at 10.12am in Hong Kong.

This renewed interest in bitcoin futures comes a month after rival CBOE Global Markets Inc, the first mainstream exchange to let people buy and sell bitcoin futures, said in a Web posting it was reviewing its approach to cryptocurrency derivatives and didn't plan to list more contracts.

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CBOE and CME first debuted bitcoin futures in December 2017, at the peak of the crypto frenzy that saw bitcoin prices top out at close to US$20,000. Bitcoin subsequently plunged 74 per cent in 2018 as the industry struggled to attract mainstream institutional investment.

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