By Jamie Redman
On Tuesday, the world’s largest financial derivatives exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group, announced the upcoming launch of ethereum-based micro futures slated to be listed on December 6. The launch follows CME Group’s bitcoin micro futures listing in May, which saw 100,000 micro bitcoin futures traded during the first six days after launch.
CME to Launch Micro Ether Futures Pending Regulatory Approval
CME Group announced on Tuesday that the company plans to launch micro ether futures on December 6, “pending regulatory review.” According to the CME announcement, each share will account for one-tenth of one ether.
“Micro ether futures will provide an efficient, cost-effective way for a range of market participants – from institutions to sophisticated, active, individual traders – to hedge their spot ether price risk or more nimbly execute ether trading strategies, all while retaining the features and benefits of CME Group’s larger-sized ether futures,” the announcement explains.
For quite some time now, the derivatives exchange has offered bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) futures that account for larger quantities of each crypto asset. In terms of open interest (OI), CME Group’s ether futures account for 8.83% of all the derivatives exchange OI.
Micro-Sized Contracts Make Investment Products ‘Accessible to a Broader Range of Participants’
Six months ago, CME Group launched micro bitcoin futures and the exchange witnessed 100,000 micro bitcoin futures traded during the first six days after launch. By the end of June, CME Group’s micro BTC futures had reached 1 million contracts swapped.
“Since the launch of ether futures in February, we have seen steady growth in liquidity in these contracts, especially among institutional traders,” Tim McCourt, CME Group’s global head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products said. “At the same time, the price of ether has more than doubled since these contracts were introduced, creating demand for a micro-sized contract to make this market even more accessible to a broader range of participants,” McCourt added.
The CME Group executive continued:
Micro ether futures will offer even more choice and precision in how they trade ether futures in a transparent, regulated, and efficient manner at CME Group.
As of November, CME Group’s micro bitcoin futures have traded 2.7 million contracts since May. In terms of ether futures, 675,500 ethereum futures contracts have been settled on CME, which is equivalent to about 33.8 million ethereum (ETH). CME Group details that it offers more than 20 micro products and since their inception, over 1 billion contracts have been settled to date.
Meanwhile, after CME Group announced the micro futures product, ethereum (ETH) reached a new all-time high (ATH) at $4,500 per unit on Tuesday. Ethereum has a market valuation of around $529 billion at the time of writing.
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