The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group has officially self-certified its own Bitcoin Futures contracts, which will launch on December 18th.
Marking a seismic moment for the wider cryptocurrency community, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) deemed that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group’s Bitcoin Futures contracts has met the necessary requirements to launch.
The announcement comes after an open letter, circulated by Interactive Brokers Group Chairman Thomas Peterffy, created opposition to the move by citing that there is “There is no fundamental basis for valuation of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies”.
CME Group’s Futures contracts will allow traders to speculate on the price of Bitcoin without having to own the digital currency itself.
Presiding over the announcement, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo offered that “…We have had extensive discussions with the exchanges regarding the proposed contracts, and CME, CFE and Cantor have agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets. In working with the Commission, CME, CFE and Cantor have set an appropriate standard for oversight over these bitcoin contracts given the CFTC’s limited statutory ability to oversee the cash market for bitcoin.”
Though CME Group’s Bitcoin Futures has been deemed to have met the necessary requirements, the CFTC has not granted approval nor endorsement of virtual currency products or derivatives. Speaking of the new options, the Commission further warned that “investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts.”
The CFTC will continue to monitor the options, and will “assess whether further changes are required to the contract design and settlement processes and work with the (contract markets) to effect any changes”
CME Group has announced that it expects to launch the option before the close of the year on December 18th.
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