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U.S. regulator to allow CME, CBOE to launch bitcoin futures

2017-12-02 16:33

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The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday that it would allow two major Chicago exchanges to launch bitcoin futures products.

CME Group and CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) will become the first traditional U.S. regulated exchanges to trade bitcoin futures. CME said its bitcoin futures would list on Dec. 18, CBOE has not decided the date to launch the bitcoin product, but said it will announce a launch date "shortly".

Another exchange, Cantor Exchange, will also launch a new contract for bitcoin binary options.
"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," said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo in a statement on Friday.

Giancarlo also warned of the risks of the volatility of the bitcoin trading market.

"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," said Giancarlo.

"There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets," he added.

Under CFTC regulations, exchanges don't need prior approval from the regulator to launch products for trading. Instead, they only have to file self-certification with the regulator, which means that an exchange should confirm that its product complied with U.S. laws and CFTC regulations.

The regulator said in the statement that its move on Friday does not constitute an endorsement of the use or value of virtual currency products or derivatives. It will continue to monitor and analyze the development of the market, said the statement.

Bitcoin was traded over 10,000 U.S. dollars Tuesday, surging from about 968 dollars at the beginning of this year, according to CoinDesk.
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