CME Group To Offer Options on Ether Futures

Launch slated for Sept. 12 follows high interest in ether futures ahead of the Merge


Source: DALL·E


key takeaways

  • The upcoming Ethereum Merge is one of the most anticipated events in the crypto space, CME Group exec says
  • Roughly 3.2 million ether futures contracts have traded since CME Group launched the offering in November

CME Group continues to expand its range of crypto derivatives, revealing Thursday that it is slated to launch options on ether futures on Sept. 12.

The derivatives marketplace currently offers bitcoin options, as well as micro-sized bitcoin and ether options. It began offering bitcoin futures in 2017 and went on to add ether futures in February 2021.

The company launched cash-settled micro bitcoin futures contracts last year and moved in November to add micro ether futures, announced just a week prior to ether’s current all-time high of $4,868.

The new contracts — based on the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate — deliver one ether futures, sized at 50 ether per contract.

The launch comes as CME Group has seen 1.8 million ether futures contracts traded to date, Tim McCourt, the firm’s global head of equity and foreign exchange products, said in a statement. 

“As we approach the highly anticipated Ethereum Merge next month, we continue to see market participants turn to CME Group to manage ether price risk,” McCourt added.

“Our new Ether options will offer a wide array of clients greater flexibility and added precision to manage their ether exposure ahead of market moving events.”

Average daily open interest across CME Group’s crypto products was 106,000 contracts in the second quarter, an all-time quarterly high. Ether futures, in particular, notched an average daily volume in the second quarter of 6,600 contracts, a record that was up 27% from the first quarter.

The momentum carried over into July, during which daily open interest on CME’s crypto products averaged nearly 127,000 contracts, a spokesperson told Blockworks. More than 3.2 million ether futures contracts have traded in the last eight months.

CME Group said earlier this month that it was set to start rolling out its first euro-denominated bitcoin and ether futures.

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