CME to launch bitcoin futures trading on December 18

CME to launch bitcoin futures trading on December 18

On Friday a United States federal regulator gave the go ahead to the CME Group to start trading bitcoin futures later this month, the first time the digital currency will be traded on a Wall Street exchange and subject to federal oversight.

Chicago-based CBOE said trading will start on its CBOE Futures Exchange at 5 p.m Central Time on Sunday, the beginning of global trading hours, with December 11 being the first full day.

CME is not the only US exchange that is going to add bitcoin futures to their product offerings.

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Bitcoin's rapid rise from less than US$800 in December past year to more than US$11,000 this week on Coindesk has stoked fears that it is a pricing bubble that could leave recent investors worse-off. It is now worth more than $11,000.

"We are pleased to bring Bitcoin futures to market after working closely with the CFTC and market participants to design a regulated offering that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery, and risk transfer capabilities", said Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

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Bitcoin futures will trade under the "XBT" ticker and will trade for 23 hours. The first bitcoin futures contracts on a regulated US exchange are set to launch on Sunday.

One of the key points about bitcoin futures trading is that there will be no handling of bitcoin at all and the futures will be cash-settled.

On the other hand, CME plans to use the services of four bitcoin exchanges - Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken - to set its Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR).

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.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it had discussions with the exchanges to protect consumers from extreme price swings.

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