In its announcement on Friday, CME said the launch of bitcoin options is aimed to provide clients with “additional tools for precision hedging and trading.” The launch is pending regulatory review.
Derivatives marketplace CME Group has announced that it will offer options on its bitcoin futures contracts starting in the first quarter of next year.
The Chicago-based company first launched its futures product back in December 2017, at the same time as its Windy City rival, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).
Tim McCourt, CME Group global head of equity index and alternative investment products, said:
“Based on increasing client demand and robust growth in our Bitcoin futures markets, we believe the launch of options will provide our clients with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their bitcoin price risk. These new products are designed to help institutions and professional traders to manage spot market bitcoin exposure, as well as hedge Bitcoin futures positions in a regulated exchange environment.”
The firm detailed that, since the 2017 launch, it has seen 20 “successful” futures expiration settlements, with over 3,300 individual accounts trading the contracts. Close to 7,000 CME bitcoin futures contracts are traded on average each day, the firm added.
In March 2019, CBOE abruptly changed tack and halted the futures product. That left CME as the sole provider of bitcoin futures in the U.S.
CME will have a new rival from on Monday, however, when the Intercontinental Exchange and its subsidiary Bakkt begin offering a new futures product. Unlike CME’s cash contracts, though, ICE will be offering a physically settled product, meaning customers will receive actual bitcoin instead of the cash equivalent.
FCA Warns Public About Clone Firm Offering Crypto Investment
The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned the public about First BTC FX, a supposed clone firm offering fraudulent crypto investments.
According to an FCA warning published on Sept. 20, First BTC FX is posing as authorized firm First Global Limited. First Global is a trade name for nonprofit organization International First Committee Association. First BTC FX also claims to represent a trade name of First Global on its website firstbtcfx.com.
The scam entity claims to provide premium-quality trading services for commodities, forex, indices, shares and cryptocurrencies. In its crypto trading section, First BTC FX describes an investment scheme, stating that a minimum investment amount of $100 can “gain the effect” of $3,000.
In its “Risk Disclosure” section, the clone firm again uses the details of First Global, adding that the company does not provide services for residents of the United States, Canada, Israel and Iran.
In its statement, the FCA warned the public against clone firms – fraudulent entities that copy details of legal firms, such as their name, website, address or firm reference numbers in order to mislead investors to think that they do represent the actual firm. The regulator wrote:
“Be aware that the scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm.”
The recent warning adds another crypto-related scam entity to a wide list of fraudulent firms operating in the United Kingdom. On May 25, the FCA blacklisted an entity known as ICAP Crypto after previously issuing a similar warning against illegal crypto-related firm Next Coin Market.
In July, the authority issued its finalized policy statement on crypto, claiming that it will not regulate Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) as part of its guidance on crypto assets.
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