Cboe submits product certification for bitcoin futures

THeMerkle Moscow Stock Exchange Bitcoin Futures

Though CME had signaled its intent to launch these products before the end of the year, many people doubted the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) would grant their application within this time period.

The U.S. derivatives regulator said on Friday it would allow CME Group Inc and CBOE Global Markets Inc to list bitcoin futures, after the rival bourses showed their proposed contracts and trading arrangements met necessary requirements.

CME Group's Bitcoin futures will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the US dollar price of bitcoin, said CME. CBOE has not yet set a launch date but has said it plans its listing by year-end. After a record high on Wednesday for bitcoin price of $11,377, there was a 20 percent drop from profit takers down to $9,021; it has since fluctuated several times and is now selling at around $10,500.

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The decision opens the door for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and CBOE Futures Exchange to offer contracts for futures of the virtual currency, rather than trading the actual currency. Friday, bitcoin was trading near $10,100 before the news broke, and jumped above $10,650 afterward, according to CoinDesk. "Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts", Giancarlo adds.

As trading on these DCMs evolves, the Commission will continue to assess whether further changes are required to the contract design and settlement processes and work with the DCMs to effect any changes. Instead, they only have to file a written self-certification with the regulator. The Commission, CME, CFE and Cantor will also coordinate to the extent possible in any surveillance activities, including providing the CFTC with additional surveillance information.

Still, at launch, Duffy explained the bitcoin futures product will be subject to risk management tools, including a margin of 35 percent, position and intraday price limits.

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