The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) announced Wednesday that it will launch a futures contract on ether, the worldâ€™s second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, in February 2021.
- Ether futures will be listed on Feb. 8 – more than three years after bitcoin futures went live.
- Each contract will have 50 units of ether and the derivative product will be open to trade between 5:00 p.m. â€“ 4:00 p.m CT from Sunday to Friday, according to the official announcement.
- “Building on the success of Bitcoin futures and options, CME Group will add Ether futures to the cryptocurrency risk-management solutions available to trade in February,”Â the exchange said.
- FuturesÂ are derivative financial contracts that obligate parties to buy and sell a particular asset of a specific quantity and at a predetermined price, at a specified date in the future.
- CME’s announcement of an ether futures contract has coincided with bitcoin’s much-anticipated break above $20,000.
- The exchange rolled out bitcoin futures three years ago after the cryptocurrency reached a record price of $19,783. The derivative contracts were reportedly approved by the Trump administration to prick the bitcoin bubble.
- However, since then, CME has steadily climbed ranks to become the third-largest bitcoin futures exchange by open interest. Many observers consider it to be synonymous with institutional trading.
- “Todayâ€™s CME news shows institutional demand continues to spill into other leading digital assets, such as Ether, ” Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks told CoinDesk in an email. “CF Benchmarksâ€™ regulated, replicable and robust indices will now act as the foundations for leading providers, like CME, to develop cryptocurrency markets fully fit for the ‘institutionalization’ of crypto.”
- While bitcoin is currently trading near $20,600, ether is changing hands near $600, still down 50% from record highs.