Bitcoin Futures Launch on Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)

20 December, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Giant CME exchange launches bitcoin futures to muted response

Bitcoin fell back below $19,000 in the early hours of this morning after it came tantalisingly close to $20,000 yesterday - as the CME Group's new bitcoin futures contracts dropped.

"The launch should increase buy side pressure and potentially be the catalyst that pushes bitcoin above $20,000", said Shane Chanel, a fund manager at ASR Wealth Advisers in Melbourne. It was priced at $18,336 as CME's contract fetched $18,610 at 8:19 p.m. On its debut on Dec 10, the Cboe traded almost 4,000 contracts during the full session.

TradeStation also noted that its supported the launch of the first Bitcoin futures offering from the United States exchange.

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Some investors believe the CME bitcoin futures could attract more institutional demand because the final settlement price is culled from multiple exchanges.

Volumes on both exchanges trading Bitcoin futures are low but it looks like the CME is going to be the victor as it takes on the CBOE.

There are some distinct differences with the two products. The company will not offer CME contracts until it demonstrates sufficient liquidity.

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The general sentiment in the market remains one of caution and that has been reflected in margin requirements for the contracts. Interactive Brokers Group Inc. that claims it handled over 50 percent of trading at CBOE the first day said it required a 50 percent margin on longer investments but for short selling about 240 percent.

In the futures market, margin refers to the initial deposit made into an account in order to enter into a contract.

CME Group and Crypto Facilities will involve in the calculation and publication of BRR, which combines the trade flow of major Bitcoin spot exchanges during a calculation window into the US dollar price of one Bitcoin. With the trend still going upward a short seller could end up having to purchase futures at a price higher than they were sold. Jeremy Goldwyn of Bands Financial Ltd. a futures brokerage in Hong Kong said: "In theory, it does open it up to shorting opportunities, but as always, the devil is in the detail". So far there is no sign of that only that the coin makes continual leaps upward often a thousand dollars at a time.

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Ally declined to provide more details on the subject at this time.

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