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CME sets January 13 as target date for bitcoin options launch

Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 13:18 pm UTC

Derivatives marketplace CME Group has announced that it will launch options on its Bitcoin futures contracts on Jan. 13, 2020, provided it gets the required regulatory approval.

CME Group launched CME Bitcoin Futures back in December 2017. Since then, there have been 22 successful futures expiration settlements and more than 3,500 individual accounts have traded the product. Moreover, around 6,500 CME Bitcoin futures contracts (equivalent to about 32,500 bitcoin) are being traded on average each day this year.

The firm initially announced its plans to launch bitcoin options in September, which was followed by the release of specifications late last month.

"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," said Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products.

"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."

Meanwhile, Bakkt, which went live with its bitcoin futures trading platform in September, has also revealed that it will be launching options contract for bitcoin futures on December 09, 2019. CEO Kelly Loeffler said that the launch is driven by customer feedback, adding that the bitcoin options contracts have been designed to “hedge or gain bitcoin exposure, generate income, and offer cost and capital efficiencies.”

More recently, Bakkt opened up its bitcoin custody services to all institutions. It is also planning to launch its first-ever consumer app with Starbucks in the first half of 2020.

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