By John D'Antona

CME Sets Dec 18 for Bitcoin Futures

CME plans gradual trading of new contracts.

Just moments after Cboe announced its December 10 start date for bitcoin futures trading, CME Group plans to begin trading the crypto currency on Dec 18.

In an official announcement on its website, Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and CEO, revealed the company has received the approval from the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to list bitcoin futures and provide infrastructure around bitcoin options, derivatives, and futures contracts.

But trading will be somewhat phased it, as the CME has stated that in the first few weeks of operation, traders on CME’s bitcoin futures exchange will be limited to initiating trades with an initial margin of 35 percent.

“Though we have worked through a lengthy, comprehensive process with the CFTC to get to this point, we recognize bitcoin is a new, uncharted market that will continue to evolve, requiring continued collaboration with the Commission and our clients going forward,” Duffy said. “At launch, our new Bitcoin futures contract will be subject to a variety of risk management tools, including an initial margin of 35 percent, position and intraday price limits, and a number of other risk and credit controls that CME Group offers on all of its products.”

The CME bitcoin futures platform rely on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) to obtain the global average price of bitcoin based on Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken. These four cryptocurrency exchanges are well-regulated within the US and Europe, and are fully compliant with the regulatory frameworks established by respective governments within the two regions.

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