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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

CME Bitcoin Futures Usually End Up Trading At A Discount- But Is That A Good Thing Necessarily?

The futures of CME Bitcoin have been trading well below the spot price of the cryptocurrency on most of the exchanges since the 9th of November.

This is one such situation which is usually referred to as backwardation. While it definitely points towards a far more bearish market structure, there are quite a few factors that could cause momentary distortions.

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On the whole, the fixed-month contracts of CME do trade at a slight premium, which also indicates that most of the sellers have been requesting more money to withhold the settlement for a longer period of time. As a result of this, the futures should be trading at a premium of 0.5%- 2% in healthy markets- which would create a situation called contango. 

CME Bitcoin’s Futures Shares Should Not Be Sold For So Less A Price

However, it is expected that a prominent seller of futures contracts (CME Bitcoin) would definitely cause a momentary distortion in the futures premium. Unlike most perpetual contracts, the futures of fixed calendars do not have a rate of funding, so it can be ascertained that the prices could be differing vastly from other spot exchanges. 

Whenever traders of CME Bitcoin will find some form of aggressive activity from the shorts, the two-month futures contract will start trading at a 2% or higher discount. Any chart talking about this feature would highlight how one-month CME futures had been trading near the fair value- where they had been presenting a discount of 0.5% or a premium of 0.5% versus most of the spot exchanges. During the price of Bitcoin on the 9th of November, the aggressive sellers of futures contracts cause the futures of CME to trade at a value of 5% below the regular price in the market.

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