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CME reveals Bitcoin Options contract specifications as it awaits regulatory approval

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Last month, the Chicago Merchantile Exchange Group [CME] had revealed its plans of rolling out Bitcoin Options contracts on existing Bitcoin Futures contracts. The CME has now released specifications for the same.

Through an announcement made on its official website, the CME disclosed that options on its Bitcoin Futures contracts will most likely go live by early 2020. However, the Chicago-based exchange did add a caveat by stating that it is yet to receive regulatory approval on the options contracts.

CME’s FAQ page expanded on how options on Bitcoin Futures contracts would work. According to the same, soon after the termination of trading, Options contract would make its way into one Bitcoin Futures contract. One Bitcoin Futures contract is equal to five Bitcoins, and the price per Bitcoin would be quoted via USD. Users can avail the latest product on CME Globex and on CME Clearport via ex-pit transactions.

Users can start trading from 5:00 PM CT Sunday until 4:00 PM CT Friday. The last Friday of the contract month would be considered as the last day of trading.

Additionally, on the expiration day of the contract, the final settlement value of the Options contract would be determined based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate [BRR] at 4:00 PM London time.

Further, the Options contract would fall under the equity index and alternative products.

Tim McCourt, Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Products at CME, revealed in an interview that the latest development is the brainchild of customer feedback. He also disclosed that the Chicago-based exchange had taken the validation of market participants while designing the product. The blog post read,

“In response to growing interest in cryptocurrencies and customer demand for tools to manage bitcoin exposure, CME Group will launch options on Bitcoin futures (BTC) in early 2020:*”

The Chicago-based exchange’s latest move comes a week after Bakkt’s announcement about the same. The cryptocurrency platform garnered immense attention by launching Bitcoin Futures contracts. Bakkt’s Bitcoin Options contracts will go live on 9 December 2019, and it claims to be the first in the industry.


Sahana is a full-time cryptocurrency journalist at AMBCrypto. A graduate in Political Science and Journalism, her writing is centered around regulation and policy-making regarding the cryptocurrency sector across geographies.
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