The institutional herd is here: Bitcoin volume on CME, LMAX hits new records

The daily volume of the CME Bitcoin futures market and LMAX achieved a new all-time high on Monday. The data shows that institutional demand for Bitcoin (BTC) is rapidly surging as major public funds continue to accumulate.

Institutional appetite for Bitcoin is accelerating

According to analysts at Arcane Research, the daily volume of LMAX Digital reached a record-high at $2.62 billion.

LMAX is a trading platform that tailors to institutional and accredited investors, unlike retail-focused platforms such as Coinbase and Binance. Arcane Research’s head of research, Bendik Norheim Schei, wrote:

“Want another ‘Institutional investors are here’ chart? Here’s the daily volume on the institutional platform LMAX Digital. New all-time high volume of $2.6 billion yesterday.”

During the same period, the CME Bitcoin futures market also achieved an all-time high volume at $2.7 billion in dollar terms.

On CME, traders use Bitcoin-backed contracts, and as such, when the price of Bitcoin increases, so does the value of contracts.

The massive increase in the trading volume of institutional platforms comes as funds are aggressively investing in Bitcoin.

On Monday, Anthony Scaramucci, former White House director of communications, said his hedge fund, SkyBridge, entered a $300 million Bitcoin position from November 2020 to December 2020. He said:

“We @SkyBridge entered the #bitcoin market in Nov/Dec with a now ~$300mm position, and today launched a #bitcoin fund offering for accredited investors. We believe we’re in the early innings of a new asset class with tremendous upside.”

With SkyBridge’s investment in Bitcoin, nine funds now hold $23 billion worth of Bitcoin, according to technology researcher Kevin Rooke.

Grayscale still holds the most Bitcoin at $19 billion through its flagship product, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

GBTC is an alternative to an exchange-traded fund in the United States in that institutions and accredited investors can gain exposure to Bitcoin through a strictly regulated vehicle.

What’s next for BTC?

Despite the massive inflow of institutional capital into the Bitcoin market, the price of BTC sharply corrected on Tuesday.

Bitcoin’s price dropped by over 15% on a single day after more than $2 billion worth of futures contracts were liquidated.

Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant, said that derivatives traders are now uncertain and fearful, based on the declining leverage across major exchanges. He said:

“This indicator is better than the Fear & Greed index. $BTC derivative traders are uncertain about the next move, and scared.”

In the near term, this could result in a consolidation period where Bitcoin sees lower volatility following a massive uptrend.

In the last 48 hours, Bitcoin has still been able to remain above the $30,000 support level, which is an optimistic sign of positive momentum.

Whale clusters suggest that the next major support area is $29,300, which would be a crucial technical level to defend for the ongoing rally to see renewed momentum.

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