Virtual currency trading could help professionalise the market

Author: Olly Jackson | Published: 20 Dec 2017

By Olly Jackson, EMEA reporter

CME Group is the latest derivatives exchange to offer bitcoin futures trading, a development many market participants believe moves cryptocurrencies further into the mainstream.

The December 17 launch follows that of the Chicago Board Options Exchange a week prior, the first to offer bitcoin futures in spite of growing concerns surrounding high margin requirements and market volatility.

CME’s offering is regulated by the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which issued a proposed interpretation on transactions involving virtual currency. The interpretation makes it clear that the regulator will treat any virtual currency as if it were a commodity future and within the rules set by the Commodity Exchange Act. As a result, bitcoin futures are different from those traded on an exchange in that they are strictly regulated. This provides investors with the typical regulatory framework they are used to.

A CME spokesperson told...