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CME Group sets date for Bitcoin futures launch

Derivatives marketplace CME Group has announced that it is going to launch Bitcoin futures contract on December 18, 2017.

According to the official release, CME Group has self-certified the initial listing of its Bitcoin futures contract, which will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME. It will be available for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform, and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort, effective on Sunday, December 17, 2017 for a trade date of December 18.

"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.

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 U.S. dollar price of bitcoin.

"Though we have worked through a lengthy, comprehensive process with the CFTC to get to this point, we recognize bitcoin is a new, uncharted market that will continue to evolve, requiring continued collaboration with the Commission and our clients going forward. At launch, our new Bitcoin futures contract will be subject to a variety of risk management tools, including an initial margin of 35 percent, position and intraday price limits, and a number of other risk and credit controls that CME Group offers on all of its products,” Duffy said.

Since November 2016, CME Group and Crypto Facilities Ltd. have calculated and published the BRR, which aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges during a calculation window into the U.S. Dollar price of one bitcoin as of 4:00 p.m. London time. The BRR is designed around the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken are the constituent exchanges that currently contribute the pricing data for calculating the BRR.

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