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Federal regulator gives OK for bitcoin futures to trade

02 December 2017, 01:06 | Melanie Burgess

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CME Group Inc., Cboe Global Markets Inc., and Cantor Fitzgerald LP are planning to help the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission monitor bitcoin futures. "We are operationally ready and we will be announcing a launch date shortly", the spokesperson said in the new statement.

Bitcoin soared above $11,000 for the first time this week, up tenfold year-to-date and prompting multiple warnings of a bubble.

"This is a tacit approval for the industry as a whole; digital assets are now mainstream", said Charles Hayter, chief executive officer of interactive cryptocurrency platform CryptoCompare.

CME Group's Bitcoin futures will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the US dollar price of bitcoin, said CME. It was last up 6.6 percent at $10,600. While CFTC approval isn't required, the regulatory body could have halted the CME's plans if it wasn't satisfied with the self-certification.

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Following the news of the bitcoin futures, the online currency is up in price.

Bitcoin rebounded on Friday to hit the day's highs above $10,500 United States, recovering from an earlier dip below $9,500 USA, after the U.S. derivatives regulator said it would allow CME Group and CBOE Global Markets to list bitcoin futures.

"Though we have worked through a lengthy, comprehensive process with the CFTC to get to this point, we recognize bitcoin is a new, uncharted market that will continue to evolve, requiring continued collaboration with the Commission and our clients going forward", said Duffy. Instead, they only have to file a written self-certification with the regulator. Due to its volatility, bitcoin futures will be subject higher margin levels and intraday price limits, the CME said.

Nasdaq Inc also plans to list a futures contract based on bitcoin in 2018, Reuters reported earlier this week.



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