Arbitrage, contract design, and market structure in Bitcoin futures markets

Publication Name

Journal of Futures Markets


Perpetual futures, first proposed by Shiller (1993), have only seen wide use in cryptocurrency markets. We examine the contract design and market microstructure differences for the behavior of Bitcoin quarterly and perpetual futures prices and assess the implications for market participants and policymakers. We find perpetual futures exhibit multiple “u-shaped” curves, seasonal effects, and opening effects despite lacking opening and closing hours. There is suggestive evidence of spillover effects between perpetual and quarterly futures contracts. We find quarterly futures offer cash-and-carry arbitrage opportunities, but similar to Hattori and Ishida (2021) these opportunities primarily exist during market dislocations.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Regione Puglia



Link to publisher version (DOI)