CBOE Global Markets Inc. said Monday that it will launch trading of bitcoin futures on Sunday, Dec. 10. CME's nonmembers can trade the futures too, although they will be charged for higher service and exchange fees.
Bitcoin has gained more mainstream attention lately as its price has soared on the private exchanges. "We are committed to encouraging fairness and liquidity in the bitcoin market", said Ed Tilly, chairman and CEO of Cboe Global Markets, in a statement. "To promote this, we will initially offer XBT futures trading for free". CBOE has already expressed its desire to list these products, and - just this week - The Wall Street Journal reported Nasdaq Inc. hopes to list bitcoin futures on one of its US exchanges during the first half of 2018. Consequently, Cboe will become the first USA exchange to support trading for a cryptocurrency-derived futures product.
The exchange announced Friday that it would begin offering bitcoin futures trading, but it didn't specify a start date.
At CBOE, the contract limit is 5,000.
The launch confirmation comes months after the Chicago-based exchange first detailed its plans to create a bitcoin futures product. CBOE will derive its bitcoin contract price from the Gemini bitcoin exchange, which is owned by the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler. Market data from bitcoin exchanges Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit, and Kraken will be used to calculate CME's once-a-day Bitcoin Reference Rate (BBR).
The announcement from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that it will allow the futures to be traded was seen as a watershed moment for the currency.
However, despite the cash-settlement process, some institutional investors have expressed concern at the addition of bitcoin-derived products to CME.