CME to Begin Trading Bitcoin Futures December 18

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The impending launch date of Cboe bitcoin futures, which will trade on CFE under the ticker symbol 'XBT, ' will be announced shortly.

"We are pleased to bring Bitcoin futures to market after working closely with the CFTC and market participants to design a regulated offering that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery, and risk transfer capabilities", said Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Under CFTC regulations, designated contract exchanges such as CME and CBOE's CFE do not need prior approval from the commission to list products for trading.

Christopher Giancarlo said after "extensive discussions with the exchanges" they "agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets".

The press release stated: "Commission staff held rigorous discussions with CME over the course of six weeks, CFE over the course of four months, and had numerous calls with Cantor". There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets.

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A U.S. regulator cleared the way on Friday (Dec 1) for bitcoin futures to trade on major exchanges, but warned investors the digital currency is prone to elevated risk and volatility. "Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts", Giancarlo adds.

In order to regulate trading, all three exchanges and the Commission will be heavily regulating trading, as well providing the Commission with additional surveillance information regarding the futures.

Once the contracts are launched, Commission staff will engage in a variety of risk-monitoring activities.

The new contract will be available for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform effective on Sunday, December 17, 2017, for a trade date of December 18. The activities will include monitoring and analyzing the size and development of the market, positions and change in positions over time, open interest, initial margin requirements, and variation margin payments.

The exchanges assured the CFTC that the new products complied with the rules under a process of self-certification.

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