Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

CME to launch Bitcoin derivatives trading in December

CME to launch Bitcoin derivatives trading in December

CME Group and CBOE Global Markets exchanges will offer investors Bitcoin futures from later this month.

The launch of the first bitcoin futures contracts on a regulated US exchange is expected to be a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency industry. Cboe will waive trading fees for these products for the duration of December.

Bitcoin's price has soared tenfold this year, but many market participants warn of a bubble as it topped $11,000 for the first time last week.

The price of bitcoin slumped 10.9 per cent from a record high of $US11,845 to $US10,550 before bouncing back to $US11,294 at 11am Perth time.

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The fact that this price was achieved much before the end of the year and that the prices overshot this region to move beyond the $11,000 region during the month was a sample of how strong this bull run has been during the month of November. The cryptocurrency is now trading at roughly $11,400, as per CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). "We are committed to encouraging fairness and liquidity in the bitcoin market", said Ed Tilly, chairman and CEO of Cboe Global Markets, in a statement.

Bitcoin has taken another step toward the financial mainstream, after a USA regulator said it would let two traditional exchanges begin trading in Bitcoin-related financial contracts. Final settlement value for XBT futures will be the official auction price for bitcoin (rounded to the nearest penny) as determined by the Gemini Exchange at 4:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. CT) on the final settlement date.

Bitcoin futures will trade under the "XBT" ticker and will trade for 23 hours.

At CBOE, the contract limit is 5,000.

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For example, if Bitcoin trades at $10,000 and if a trader expects further appreciation in the price, a sum of $2,500 to $5,000 (5% to 10% of 10,000×5 = $50,000) is required to buy one contract, and vice-versa.

On the other hand, CME plans to use the services of four bitcoin exchanges - Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken - to set its Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR).

Speaking to Business Insider, CBOE President Chris Concannon termed Bitcoin future contracts as a "meaningful development for the scorching-hot cryptocurrency".

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