Federal regulator gives OK for bitcoin futures to trade

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While CBOE is now under regulatory approval and review, CME has set to launch its bitcoin futures in less than three weeks on Monday, December 18, 2017.

CME said on Friday it would list its bitcoin futures contract, which like CBOE's will be priced against and settled in the cash bitcoin market, on December 18. (CME) and CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) self-certified contracts for bitcoins futures.

CME Group's Bitcoin futures will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the US dollar price of bitcoin, said CME. CBOE has not yet set a launch date but has said it plans its listing by year-end. On Wednesday, bitcoin smashed through $10,000 United States before rocketing past $11,000 U.S. less than 12 hours later to an all time-high of $11,395 USA, and then plunging around 20 percent in the hours that followed. It was last up 6.6 percent at $10,600.

A USA 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. CME and CBOE have also agreed to enter into information-sharing agreements and to send the CFTC data on the settlement process so the regulator can conduct its own surveillance.

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Still, at launch, Duffy explained the bitcoin futures product will be subject to risk management tools, including a margin of 35 percent, position and intraday price limits.

The Commission says once the contracts are launched, the CFTC staff will engage in risk-monitoring activities.

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

Nasdaq Inc also plans to list a futures contract based on bitcoin in 2018, Reuters reported earlier this week.