CFTC to allow CME, CBOE to launch bitcoin products
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission noted that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the CBOE Futures Exchange (CBOE) self-certified new contracts for bitcoin futures products, and the Cantor Exchange self-certified a new contract for bitcoin binary options.
CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said regarding the news:
“Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is a commodity unlike any the Commission has dealt with in the past. As a result, we have had extensive discussions with the exchanges regarding the proposed contracts, and CME, CFE and Cantor have agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets.
In working with the Commission, CME, CFE and Cantor have set an appropriate standard for oversight over these bitcoin contracts given the CFTC’s limited statutory ability to oversee the cash market for bitcoin.
Market participants should take note that the relatively nascent underlying cash markets and exchanges for bitcoin remain largely unregulated markets over which the CFTC has limited statutory authority.
There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets. We expect that the futures exchanges, through information sharing agreements, will be monitoring the trading activity on the relevant cash platforms for potential impacts on the futures contracts’ price discovery process, including potential market manipulation and market dislocations due to flash rallies and crashes and trading outages. Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts.”
Once the contracts are launched, Commission staff will engage in a variety of risk-monitoring activities.
As trading on these DCMs evolves, the Commission will continue to assess whether further changes are required to the contract design and settlement processes and work with the DCMs to effect any changes, the CFTC added.
CME closed at $149.54.
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