CME Group confirms bitcoin option plans but not to follow Bakkt

Posted 02 October, 2019

The CME Group is going to launch bitcoin options, which was confirmed by the company representative this week. Still, the exchange will not deal physically settled futures.

In the interview to Markets Media, Tim McCourt, global head of equity index and alternative investment products at CME Group said that the intentions to roll out options on bitcoin futures are driven by increasing interest in bitcoin and customer demand.

"Since we launched bitcoin futures in December 2017, the number one demand from customers has been for options on our futures," he said.

At the same time, he explained that CME Group will not follow Bakkt and does not consider physically delivered futures. 

"The institutional interest in bitcoin is growing but they need time to become familiar with the market and get approval to use new products,” said McCourt.

The new product is expected to appear in the market next year. Notably, options will be settled in fiat, like the current bitcoin futures on the CME.

McCourt added that the announced options can be based on the current technologies of order matching and clearing. The product is under standard trials now.

For reference, CME has attracted more than 3,300 individual investors since the launch of bitcoin futures. In 2019, an average daily rate is some 7,000 contracts worth 35,000 BTC in total.

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