The price of bitcoin futures will be based on the price the digital currency is going for on four major bitcoin exchanges - Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken.
On the USA -based Bitfinex exchange, fell to $11,131, down $31, or 0.28% after hitting an all-time high of $11,843 earlier in the session. CME's nonmembers can trade the futures too, although they will be charged for higher service and exchange fees.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has been beaten to the punch by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in bitcoin futures trading.
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CME's bitcoin futures will be based on a "Bitcoin Reference Rate", which the company describes as "a once-a-day reference rate" based on the US-dollar price of the coins. Its price has jumped more than tenfold this year.
"Given the unprecedented interest in bitcoin, it's vital we provide clients the trading tools to help them express their views and hedge their exposure", stated Ed Tilly, CEO of CBOE.
According to the official release, CME Group has self-certified the initial listing of its Bitcoin futures contract, which will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME. But there are a couple of differences between bitcoin futures trading at the two exchanges.
Bitcoin derivatives will likely attract more heavyweight investors, which will gradually reduce the cryptocurrency's volatility, as well as increase its liquidity and steady its exchange rate with fiat currencies, said Wang Liren, senior researcher at the China Blockchain Research Alliance.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it had discussions with the exchanges to protect consumers from extreme price swings.