An evidence of such a growing demand for Bitcoin can be seen on Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt. On January 17, 230 Bakkt Bitcoin futures contracts, worth more than $2 million in notional value were delivered.
These numbers have seen a significant increase from those recorded in 2019. Last year, since its launch in September, only 15, 17, and 8 BTC contracts were held on Bakkt until expiry in October, November, and December.
From an average of 13.3 BTC in 2019, the physical delivery of BTC futures contracts in the first month of 2020 saw a whopping increase of 1,625%.
230 is no doubt a very small amount in comparison to the daily trading volume recorded on the platform but this increase of physical delivery indicates that institutional investors aren’t interested in only trading BTC but also want to HODL bitcoin as well.
ED&F Man Capital Markets, a financial brokerage company used by Digital Galaxy and XBTO cleared about 98% of the 230 BTC delivered last week. For Digital Galaxy, the increase in the deliveries could be because of the two bitcoin finds launched by the company late last year.
Competition between Bakkt and Jack Dorsey’s Sqaure
Recently, at the World Economic Forum (EEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Bakkt president Adam White shared the plans for a consumer-facing app.
This latest move will extend the platform that currently offers physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts to institutions to merchant portal.
This new offering instead of focusing solely on Bitcoin payments and trading as planned initially would involve a range of digital assets including equities, virtual goods, and other forms of digital value.
White has confidence in this app which would closely resemble PayPal for digital assets because he said crypto’s “killer’s app” hasn’t been created yet.
Mobile payment company Square also obtained a patent earlier this week that will allow users to pay and receive in any denomination. In the future, this technology may extend to support derivatives, securities, and loans as well.
CME Traders More Bullish than any others
When it comes to Bitcoin futures, they are on a premium rate for June contracts, suggesting investors are bullish in the digital asset in the mid-term. However, the short-term expectations are bearish as both January and March premium rates fell this week.
CME traders meanwhile continue to stay more bullish than other platforms as June futures contracts on CME are close to a 5% premium.
Just last week, the CME open interest for Bitcoin futures was up 100% at $237 million since the start of the year but has dropped to below $200 million this week. Baker’s open interest also made a high in mid-January.