The CME and CBOE, two of the world’s largest options trading exchanges, have moved the date they plan to make cryptocurrency-based financial products available for trading to December 18th. This news comes after a prior announcement several weeks ago when CME group indicated a plan to launch its Bitcoin-based futures contract on December 11th.
Both CME Group and CBOE will provide cash-settled futures contracts that will allow investors to get exposure to cryptocurrencies without having to own the digital assets. The CME group plans to get its price data from a partner called Crypto Facilities, while the CBOE will use data from the New York-based Gemini exchange. Cantor Exchange, a smaller institution, will offer Bitcoin-based binary options on December 18th.
Outlook for Regulation
The growing acceptance of Bitcoin and Ethereum in mainstream financial products raises the concerns of regulatory oversight. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – a government agency charged with the oversight of financial derivatives – weighs in with remarks from Commissioner J, Christopher Giancarlo who states, quote:
Market participants should take note that the relatively nascent underlying cash markets and exchanges for bitcoin remain largely unregulated markets over which the CFTC has limited statutory authority. There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets.”
Overall, the CFTC seems to take a cautious, hands-off position on cryptocurrency-based financial derivatives. And the development of these unique investment tools can be expected to boost the market caps of Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as bring digital assets further into the mainstream.
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