Chicago-based CME Group Inc. intends to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017, pending regulatory approval, the derivatives marketplace announced on Tuesday.
CME says it will launch a new contract based on its CME CF bitcoin reference rate (BRR), which provides a daily reference rate for the price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars. The futures will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME.
“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract,” says Terry Duffy, chairman and CEO of CME Group, in a statement. “As the world’s largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”
CME and U.K.-based Crypto Facilities Ltd. have been calculating and publishing the BRR, which aggregates the activity of major bitcoin spot exchanges, since November 2016. Additionally, they will publish a new real-time index, the CME CF bitcoin real time index (BRTI), to provide price transparency to the spot market for bitcoin.
“We are excited to work with CME Group on this product and see the BRR used as the settlement mechanism of this important product,” says Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities, in a statement. “The BRR has proven to reliably and transparently reflect global bitcoin-dollar trading and has become the price reference of choice for financial institutions, trading firms and data providers worldwide.”