CME Group to Gauge Client Interest for Ethereum Futures Contracts

Doris Richards
May 17, 2018

Calculations for the reference rate and real-time index are based on order book transactions from the cryptocurrency exchanges Kraken and Bitstamp. But the company said it has no plans for Ethereum future products at present, although the structure of the indexes is very similar to those behind CME's Bitcoin futures.

CME Group and Crypto Facilities Ltd have launched the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate, which will provide a daily benchmark price in United States dollars at 4pm London time, and CME CF Ether-Dollar Real Time Index, which will allow users access to a real-time Ether price in United States dollars.

Speaking with Bloomberg on the sidelines of an industry conference in New York, Tim McCourt, CME's head of equity products, said that the exchange operator will test the waters to see if there is enough demand to justify the creation of an ethereum futures product, though the firm does not yet now have plans to list contracts that track the price of ether. The quotes, referred by the name CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (Ether Reference Rate) and CME CF Ether-Dollar Real Time Index (Ether Real Time Index), will also be provided on the CME Group Market Data platform on June 4. They are based on data gathered from leading crypto platforms Kraken and Bitstamp and are calculated by the United Kingdom cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Crypto Facilities.


According to CryptoCompare data bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, fell from a mid-December all-time high of over $19,200 to a low of about $6,800 this year.

Both the reference rate and real-time index will be calculated by Crypto Facilities and will aid Ether traders and Ethereum users with a simplified and credible reference source for Ether price transparency. "The judgment must be made cautiously", he further added.

The exchange, McCourt noted, has detected there is obvious customer demand for physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts, as well as for the cash-settled ones offered by CME Group and CBOE. According to FactSet, the composite volume on Monday was approximately 5,000 contracts, which is roughly one-tenth of the WTI crude oil futures volume. At the end of April, there were 126 Million contracts of Open interests.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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