CME Group Set to Expand ETH, BTC Derivatives Product Expiries

Upcoming offering to help clients better manage short-term bitcoin and ether price risk amid “heightened market volatility,” company executive says


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CME Group is expanding its crypto offerings after its bitcoin and ether derivative products notched a record daily average notional value of more than $3 billion during the year’s first quarter.

The derivatives marketplace is expanding expiries for options on bitcoin and ether futures contracts to be available Monday through Friday, CME revealed Monday. 

This means options on micro-sized bitcoin and ether futures, for example, are set to add Tuesday and Thursday expiries. 

Options have expiries, or expiration dates, at which time the contract becomes void. While CME already offers monthly and quarterly expiries across its bitcoin and ether derivatives, the product expansion is set to go into effect on May 22. 

Giovanni Vicioso, CME’s global head of crypto products, said in a statement that the product extension gives clients “greater precision and versatility in managing short-term bitcoin and ether price risk” amid what he called “heightened market volatility.”

The price of bitcoin (BTC) was roughly $29,400, as of 11:00 am ET Monday — up nearly 4% from a week ago, but down about 3% in the last 24 hours. Ether’s (ETH) price stood at $2,070 at that time — slightly down on the day, but a rise of more than 11% over the past seven days.  

Paul Eisma, head of options trading at institutional market maker XBTO, said in a statement that companies like his can now offer “precise liquidity” who trade and hedge crypto exposures throughout the business week.   

CME’s new plans come after a first quarter in which average daily open interest for its bitcoin futures and options reached an all-time high 24,094 contracts, the company said. 

CME Group began offering bitcoin futures in 2017 and went on to add ether futures in February 2021. The company later launched cash-settled micro bitcoin futures contracts and moved in November 2021 to add micro ether futures.

The company added ether options contracts in September 2022, and more than 4,600 such contracts have traded since then, according to the marketplace. 

More recently, the company said in February it was set to expand its event contracts —  $20-increment, daily expiring products — to include bitcoin futures.

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