CME Group Debuts Bitcoin, Ethereum Futures For Europe

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The CME Group will be launching euro-denominated micro Bitcoin and Ethereum futures next month, answering surging demand in the derivatives market.

The Chicago-based trading firm announced on Tuesday that it would launch the crypto futures for the European market due to the popularity of U.S. dollar-denominated counterparts.

The futures will launch on March 18, pending regulatory review. 

CME Group is the world’s biggest derivative marketplace, made up of four exchanges.

Futures are a type of contract where an investor must buy or sell the underlying asset at a given price at a predetermined expiration date. “Micro futures” refer to slivers of the underlying asset. In this case, CME Group said they will be one-tenth of a Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH)—the two biggest digital coins which are currently priced at $51,538 and $2,940, respectively. 

Offering minimal fees and better liquidity, such products have been popular for traders for years, allowing them an alternative to spot crypto ETFs—at least before Bitcoin-based investment instruments became widely available in the U.S.

“Year-to-date, 24% of Bitcoin and Ether futures volume at CME Group has been transacted from the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region,” said Giovanni Vicioso, CME Group’s global head of cryptocurrency products, in the announcement. “We continue to develop additional tools for clients there to hedge their crypto portfolios and express or take a view on potential market moves.”

He added that the CME Group had “seen a four-fold increase in volume” in their U.S. dollar-denominated counterparts.

CME Group first launched BTC futures back in December 2017. Since then, it has launched ETH futures and micro futures for both digital assets. A CME Group executive in 2022 said that the market place was assessing the release of Solana (SOL) and Cardano (ADA) futures, too.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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