CME Group Set To Launch Bitcoin Options In First Quarter of 2020

September 25, 2019 / by Crypto.IQ

Derivatives marketplace CME Group is planning to launch options on their Bitcoin futures contracts early next year.

The company’s first futures product was launched in December 2017, just when their Windy City rival, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, took the same initiative.

On Friday, CME’s announcement said the Bitcoin options launch will be offering their clients “additional tools for precision hedging and trading.” It’s still under regulatory review, though.

Tim McCourt, the global head of equity index & alternative investment products at CME Group, said:

“Based on increasing client demand and robust growth in our Bitcoin futures markets, we believe the launch of options will provide our clients with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their Bitcoin price risk. These new products are designed to help institutions and professional traders to manage spot market Bitcoin exposure, as well as hedge Bitcoin futures positions in a regulated exchange environment.”

Since that initial futures launch in 2017, the company has had 20 “successful” expiration settlements, with contracts being traded by more than 3,300 individual accounts. On average, there are around 7,000 Bitcoin futures contracts from CME traded daily.

In March 2018, only after a few months of Bitcoin futures launch, CBOE halted their product unexpectedly. As a result, CME remained the only BTC futures provider in the US.

However, CME will have another rival beginning Monday when Bakkt – the subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange – will start offering their futures product. ICE will offer a product settled physically, unlike CME, which means the customers will be getting actual Bitcoin rather than its cash equivalent.