Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Money | By Charlene Sutton

U.S. regulator allows trading in Bitcoin related financial contracts

U.S. regulator allows trading in Bitcoin related financial contracts

Bitcoin futures trading by Chicago derivatives exchange operator CME Group will be launched on December 18 as the path has been cleared recently thanks to the regulatory approval.

Since November 2016, CME Group and Crypto Facilities Ltd. have calculated and published the BRR, which aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges during a calculation window into the U.S. Dollar price of one bitcoin as of 4:00 p.m. London time.

It means that investors will be able to buy and sell "future" contracts in Bitcoins - an agreement to buy the crypto-currency, for example, in three months time at a certain price. "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.

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Bitcoin hit a record above US$11,400 last Wednesday, but then lost 20% of its value in the following 24 hours.

Bitcoin has gained more mainstream attention lately as its price has soared on the private exchanges. But there are a couple of differences between bitcoin futures trading at the two exchanges.

"Given the unprecedented interest in bitcoin, it's vital we provide clients the trading tools to help them express their views and hedge their exposure".

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Although the futures have yet to begin trading, Cboe president Chris Concannon has already hinted that the exchange may soon launch futures contracts for ether and bitcoin cash, according to a Business Insider report.

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).

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.

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