CME Says It Will Launch Bitcoin Options in January

Chicago exchange CME Group has announced it will launch options on its bitcoin futures contracts in mid-January.

AccessTimeIconNov 12, 2019 at 2:46 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:41 a.m. UTC
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Derivatives exchange CME Group has announced it will launch options on its bitcoin futures contracts in January.

In a notice on its website on Tuesday, the Chicago-based exchange said, as long as it gets the green light from regulators, the options will go live on Jan. 13, 2020.

In late October, the firm published details of the options product, saying each contract would be based on one bitcoin futures contract (comprising of five bitcoin). They will be quoted in U.S. dollars per bitcoin with a tick size of $25 (or $5 for reduced tick sizes), and will trade between 5:00 P.M. Central Time on Sundays to 4:00 P.M. Central Time Fridays.

In today's announcement, Tim McCourt, the exchange's global head of equity index and alternative investment products, said:

"Since the launch of our Bitcoin futures nearly two years ago, clients have expressed a growing interest in options as another way to hedge and trade in these markets. We have worked closely with clients and the industry to establish a robust and increasingly liquid underlying futures market here at CME Group, and we believe Bitcoin options will now offer our customers greater precision and flexibility to manage their risk."

Providing some data on the performance of its bitcoin futures contracts to date, CME said it's seen average daily volume of over 6,500 contracts so far in 2019, which equate to roughly 32,500 bitcoin. There are now more than 3,500 individual accounts registered for trading the products, and almost half of trading volume comes from outside the U.S.

Tim McCourt image via CoinDesk archives

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