The Spread: High Volumes, Highlighting Heroes

Matt Raebel

Matt Raebel


This week on The Spread, the CME announces the re-opening of its Eurodollar Options trading floor, Cboe announces the re-launch of an old product, JLN highlights an unsung hero of the OCC, and more.

Produced by Mike Forrester.


Welcome to The Spread, where we’re keeping you abreast of what’s up in the options world while we all hunker down during these unprecedented times. I’m Matt Raebel.

Got a “good news, bad news” situation, depending on who you are – the CME Group announced this week it’s going to re-open the Eurodollar options trading floor…in August. It’s a ways off, but these days it helps to have something to look forward to, you know?

After filing a request with the CFTC this week, Cboe revealed they’re planning on re-launching mini VIX futures, which they haven’t offered since 2014. A spokesperson from Cboe said the re-launch is due to the popularity of micro futures products in the market now, so Cboe is like, “we were doing this before it was cool,” and is throwing its hat back in the ring as customers clamor for more nuanced hedging strategies in these turbulent times.

Options are really proving their worth these days, and bitcoin options are no exception; according to the cryptocurrency market analysis firm Skew, open interest for bitcoin options across all the big platforms – including Deribit, the CME, LedgerX, and OKEx – hit $1.5 billion this week. Satoshi would be proud…I think? Who can say, really?

Surprise surprise; amid continuing higher-than-average options trading volumes, the OCC continues to report record-shattering cleared options volumes. This week they posted that cleared volume on June 5th was the second-highest ever for the U.S. equity options markets at 47,534,507 contracts cleared. Then on Thursday they once again beat that record, clearing 48,039,111 contracts. The highest-ever cleared in one day was on February 20 of this year at 48,963,585…seems to be a bit of a trend there.

Speaking of the OCC, JLN’s Editor-In-Chief Sarah Rudolph published a story this week in which she interviewed Dan Busby, head of operations at the OCC, as part of a new JLN series called, “Unsung Heroes,” which is our way of trying to give credit where it’s due to the folks who don’t always find themselves in the spotlight, but deserve to be celebrated nonetheless. Check out the article on our site to find out how the OCC’s back office staff has been handling the high volumes and the coronavirus, as well as a couple of other neat anecdotes from one of the unsung heroes of the derivatives clearing industry.

That’s it for this week – stay safe, and happy trading.


CME Group to reopen Eurodollar options trading floor in August
Hayley McDowell – Traders Magazine

Cboe Futures Exchange, LLC Product and Rule Certification  for Mini Cboe Volatility Index Futures  Submission Number CFE-2020-018

Bitcoin Options Open Interest Rises 50% in a Month to Hit $1.5 Billion
Jack Martin – Cointelegraph

The total cleared volume on Friday was 47,534,507 contracts, 70.17% higher than the YTD daily average of 27,933,104.

Unsung Heroes: OCC’s Dan Busby
Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News

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Past The Spread Episodes

The Spread: Tiger Billionaire

The Spread: Tiger Billionaire

This week on The Spread, the unregulated crypto exchange Deribit announces a bitcoin volatility index, the CME says over 1 million micro e-mini equity options contracts traded, and more.

The Spread: Moonshot

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This week on The Spread, bitcoin options hit records for bullishness, the OCC adds two industry veterans to its board of directors, and more.

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